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Icons of the Civil Rights Movement: Dispelling White Privilege is a personal narrative. It tells Pamela and David Purdy’s story as a mixed race family involved in the Civil Rights Movement and their deepening sensitivity to racism and growing awareness of the need to dispel white privilege. They were not alone in this journey as they weave the experiences of others, African-Americans and white Americans, some known and many unknown, who have been a part of the long march toward justice. While David records the intersection of their lives with other participants in the civil rights struggle, Pamela’s inspiring artwork “Icons of the Civil Rights Movement” honors those who risked physical harm, imprisonment and death for the sake of freedom. The use of the “iconic” form, gold leaf with red background on wood panel, represents the sacred nature of the people and events depicted in each of the 35 Icons.

Asked what he would want remembered about his cousin, Emmett Till, The Rev. Wheeler Parker replied: “His blood still cries out from the ground…There is still a deep rooted racism in this country. Yes, much has changed. The law has changed, but it only changes behavior, not the heart…”

From a conversation with the Rev. Wheeler Parker, February 2014

“With the recent spike in activism after the killing of unarmed black men in Missouri and Staten Island, as well as the debut of the film “Selma”, the timing of the Icons of the Civil Rights Movement exhibit (at the Round Hill Community Church, Greenwich, CT) is propitious….”

“Icons in the Struggle for Racial Equality”

Clay Risen, Senior Editor for the Op-Ed pagesNew York Times, February 22, 2015