As an artist I was educated to believe that any piece of artwork should be created to “speak” to the viewer in every visual sense of the word! The people, places and events of the Civil Rights Movement, the non-violent nature of the 1950’s and 1960’s, all led me to believe that there was a holy spirit, a sacred dimension to this movement. In a period of horrific racism in this country, the people demonstrating for their constitutional rights remained non-violent.Read full artist statement
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On Sunday morning, September 15, 1963 at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, Addie Mae Collins (14), Denise McNair (12), Carole Robertson (14), and Cynthia Wesley (14) were in their best Sunday School dresses as they prepared to go upstairs to assist with the special “Youth Sunday” worship service.
Benjamin Swan has dedicated his life to serving his community and the cause of social justice. From leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, to his role as an elected representative in the Massachusetts state legislature, he has faithfully served the people of the Springfield area for 50 years.