Charleston by Aaron Douglas is a prominent artwork that reflects the art deco style of the 1920s, blended with African-centric imagery. This painting is part of the Magie Noir series, which showcases Douglas’s talent for blending different design styles to create unique, thought-provoking works of art. Douglas’s contribution to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s is significant. He incorporated African motifs and themes into his art, revolutionizing African-American artwork and paving the way for young artists to enter public arts realm through his involvement with the Harlem Artists Guild.
In Charleston, Douglas references Paul Morand’s novel Black Magic and portrays a jazz scene as part of the roots of African American culture. The painting highlights black musicians in their element while also depicting an important aspect of their history. Overall, Charleston by Aaron Douglas is an influential piece in African American artwork that portrays a critical period in black music history beautifully.