Patricia A. Banks is author of Represent: Art and Identity Among the Black Upper-Middle Class (Routledge). In other book projects she is examining race and ethnicity in the marketplace (Race, Ethnicity, and Consumption: A Sociological View, Under Contract Routledge), philanthropy at African American museums, and corporate support for the arts.
In Represent: Art and Identity Among the Black Upper-Middle Class (Routledge) Banks traverses the New York and Atlanta art worlds to uncover how black identities are cultivated through black art patronage. Drawing on over 100 in-depth interviews, observations at arts events, and photographs of art displayed in homes, Banks elaborates a racial identity theory of consumption that highlights how upper-middle class blacks forge black identities for themselves and their children through the consumption of black visual art. She not only challenges common assumptions about elite cultural participation, but also contributes to the heated debate about the significance of race for elite blacks, and illuminates recent art world developments. In doing so, Banks documents how the salience of race extends into the cultural life of even the most socioeconomically successful blacks.
In Represent, Patricia Banks provides an insightful look at the consumptive practices of the black upper class.--Adia Harvey Wingfield, Washington University, review in Contemporary Sociology
It is an interesting look into what motivates some African American collectors to purchase African American art.--Eric Hanks, M. Hanks Gallery, review in International Review of African American Art
. . . . Banks challenges common assumptions about elite cultural participation, contributes to the heated debate about the significance of race for elite Blacks and illuminates recent art world developments. -Lorraine Robertson, book note in the Spelman College Messenger