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
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.
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Jeffrey Brace, born Boyrereau Brinch, was captured and enslaved in Africa at the age of 16. He was taken to Barbados and then New England. After being the slave of numerous cruel owners, he was sold to Widow Mary Stiles of Woodbury, Connecticut who treated him humanely and taught him to read. Baptized a Christian, he read and memorized the entire Bible.
Fannie Lou Hamer, born in 1917, was the granddaughter of a Mississippi slave and the youngest of 20 children. At the age of 6 she worked as a sharecropper in the fields with her parents. She was forced to drop out of school in the 6th grade to work full time to help support her family.