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Paul Von Blum


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Paul Von Blum
Paul Von Blum

Paul Von Blum is Senior Lecturer in African American Studies and Communication Studies at UCLA.  He has taught at the University of California since...


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Stories by Paul Von Blum

Arts and Culture

AP/Nick Ut

Another Casualty of L.A.’s Cultural Indifference?

The artistic record in a region that aspires to world-class status has been problematic when it comes to censorship and preservation.

Posted on Dec 9, 2013 READ MORE

Arts and Culture

Wikimedia Commons/Cbl62 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Saving Paul Conrad’s ‘Chain Reaction’

For the past 22 years, the city of Santa Monica has had one of the most significant public political artworks in the nation, installed adjacent to the Santa Monica Civic Center in the tourism hub of this beachside town.

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 READ MORE


AP/dapd/Berthold Stadler

Rethinking Black History Month

The modern civil rights movement occurred long before millions of Americans were born, but many participants and observers are still available to recount their stories.

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 READ MORE



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Arts and Culture

Portraits of His People: A Tribute to Willie Middlebrook

Willie Middlebrook’s untimely death at the age of 54 on May 4 brought an end to the work of one of the finest and most socially conscious artists of our times.

Posted on May 22, 2012 READ MORE

Arts and Culture : Essay

Wikimedia Commons/Fern H. Logan

Elizabeth Catlett: An Appreciation

The impact of her sculpture Target extends to the thousands of anonymous people of color, mostly but not exclusively younger males, who are routinely subjected to racist harassment and attacks by police and others throughout the United States.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012 READ MORE

Arts and Culture

AP / Davmian Dovarganes

On the Big Rock

My largest problem with “Levitated Mass” is not with its artistic quality (or lack of quality), but rather with the excessive cost of the process.

Posted on Mar 13, 2012 READ MORE

Arts and Culture

AP / Damian Dovarganes

‘Pacific Standard Time’: L.A. Comes Into Its Own

Perhaps above all, these exhibitions reveal Southern California to be an authentic rival to New York as a world arts center. “Pacific Standard Time” should cause critics and scholars to revise their sectarian outlooks and broaden their geographic horizons.

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 READ MORE

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Paul Von Blum
Paul Von Blum

Paul Von Blum is Senior Lecturer in African American Studies and Communication Studies at UCLA.  He has taught at the University of California since 1968, serving 11 years at UC Berkeley before arriving at UCLA in 1980.  He is the author of six books and numerous articles on art, culture, education, and politics.  His most recent book is “Paul Robeson for Beginners”  (2014). Other books Von Blum has authored include “Racism and the Law” and “A Life at the Margins: Keeping the Political Vision,” his 2011 memoir that chronicles almost 50 years of political activism, starting with his civil rights work in the South and elsewhere in the early 1960s. 

Bio   |   Book Reviews   |   Books   |   Columns