Smithsonian parallels Emancipation, Civil Rights
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington for Civil Rights were 100 years apart, but both changed the nation and expanded freedoms.
Beginning Friday, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is presenting a walk back in time through two eras. A new exhibit, “Changing America,” parallels the 1863 emancipation of slaves with the 1963 March on Washington.
Continue reading “Smithsonian Exhibit Parallels Emancipation, Civil rights”
Far off from the public eye, the Brooklyn Navy Yard looms over the Brooklyn waterfront, quiet and unassuming as a warehouse. From its outside, you’d never guess this industrial landmass serves as a safe haven for businesspeople, photographers, media, and artists alike.
On a cool August morning, someone from the latter category stands right before the entrance. Clad in a green worksuit with blue and white splotches, Charlotta Janssen looks more like a hired house painter than a creative one. That perception changes once you enter her studio on the 8thfloor and give your head the 360 degree treatment. To your immediate left hangs pictures of a naked couple presumably after sexual intercourse, to the right, a man with a half-smile, half-scowl on his face.
The main part of the room, however, is where your eyes stay focused: A picture of young Black children at a 1920s Harlem pool lines the upper right (in tribute to Harlem Renaissance man James Van Der Zee). A side painting of Trinidadian activist Stokely Carmichael lies mere feet away. Civil rights staples Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks sit nearby with stern looks at the camera.
These three paintings make up part of Jennsen’s “Freedom Riders” exhibit. Currently on display at Philadelphia’s African-American Museum through September 30th, the collection of oil canvas mugshots of those who participated in the 20th century Freedom Bus Rides for integrated public transit is juxtaposed with ID cards, secretly handwritten notes, and any other written documents Janssen could find. Continue reading “Artist Charlotta Janssen Creates Exhibit of Freedom Riders’ Mugshots and Documents”