Kara Walker is one of the most influential African-American artists of our century. Her art depicts Southern silhouettes, but instead of the typical Caucasian person (think cameo), she outlines many African-American figures, exagerating stereotypes, and reveals the shocking truth about slavery in the South. I was lucky enough to be taught by her father, Dr. Larry Walker. He tried to teach me life drawing (God bless this man).
I use her as a springboard to teach conceptual silhouette drawing.
While some of her work is not appropriate for students, I use the appropriate pieces to promt a discussion on using the arts as a powerful tool to relay a message or thought.