Sam Gilliam grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, and studied art in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1962 he moved to Washington, D.C., and created abstract paintings inspired by the Washington Color School artists Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.
Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Earlie Hudnall Jr. has lived for years in Houston, Texas. He began photographing while in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1960s and finds inspiration in the beauty and pride in everyday life in African American communities in the South.
Elijah Pierce described himself as a "peculiar" child, because he did not want to work on his father's farm like his brothers.
George Williams grew up on a farm in Amity County, Mississippi. He helped on the farm until he was fourteen, then worked in a variety of jobs including road building, logging, and gandy dancing (working on the railroad).
A celebrated African American painter and sculptor, James W. Washington, Jr., was heavily influenced by his parents, a Baptist minister and a devoutly religious woman, who was concerned with the "creative aspect of religion" (AAA).
- Mississippi folk artist Sulton Rogers learned carpentry skills from his father at a young age, using his pocket knife to carve animal figures.