‘Belle’ and Africans in Europe, 1440-1700’s (video)

Dido_Elizabeth_Belle-300x255By Tod Roulette

After 235 years an intimate family heirloom painting has been exposed to the world showing not just layers of soot and dusty varnish but the secretive social customs, hierarchy and race prejudices of 18th century aristocratic English society. Continue Reading →

Selling and Celebrating African Aesthetics at Sotheby’s

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“The spell of Africa is upon me. The ancient witchery of her medicine is burning my drowsy, dreamy blood. This is not a country, it is a world—a universe of itself and for itself, a thing Different, Immense, Menacing, Alluring. It is a great black bosom where the Spirit longs to die. It is a life so burning, so fire encircled that one bursts with terrible soul inflaming life.”  “Little Portraits of Africa” published in 1924 by W.E.B. Du Bois.

By Tod Roulette

Like many people who own art I like to purchase works that do not necessarily ‘fit’ with other things I already own in my collection. Continue Reading →

Harlem’s Prima Ballerina, Misty Copeland Signs

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By Tod Roulette

My  ten-year-old goddaughter Lucy is all legs and arms. She sat on my lap at the Upper East Side Barnes and Noble on 86th Street this week waiting to see thirty-one-year old African-American prima ballerina Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theater. Continue Reading →

Notes on Culture from Tod Roulette

MAAP_PierreToussaint_Then_274A Saint from TriBeCa: Pierre Toussaint’s New York

Pierre Toussaint, a 23 year old slave, arrived in New York in 1797 a refugee from the revolution in Saint-Domingue. Continue Reading →

James Gavin’s ‘Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne’ in Harlem

tod story on gavin at newshourBy Tod Roulette

This is February and Black History Month is half done, but there are so many stories and facts to uncover about African Americans and our history. Continue Reading →

Behind-The-Scenes At The Lena Horne Estate Auction Preview At Doyle

By Tod Roulette

It’s fitting that the personal effects of Lena Horne,would be sold at a Doyle auction house during fashion week no less. Continue Reading →