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Explore the Constellation

Elizabeth Catlett’s "The Black Woman"

Art

1946

Catlett's work explored Black women’s experiences, identities, and histories.

While living in Mexico, African American artist Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012) created a series of 15 prints commemorating the struggles and resilience of Black women. She depicted historic figures such as Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman along with scenes of everyday life. This print, "I have special reservations" (1946), shows Black women sitting in the back of a segregated bus. Catlett’s work was revolutionary in its time for placing Black women at the centers of their own stories.