A Choice of Nonviolence

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a [hu]man, but you refuse to hate him [or her]." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Excerpts from our National Gallery of Writing contributions

Dr. Alisea McLeod interviews lead artist, Ruth Andrews,
 Pre-Installation, May 2010

Question to artist: If or when adjustments to your vision have been made, what effect has such adjustment had on you personally and professionally as an artist?

Response: I’ve developed a new definition of creativity. Artists and patrons normally place a high value on
originality, yet, in our project, originality had to take a back seat to seeing through collective eyes. Creativity is now about meeting my aesthetic standards while satisfying the committee and representing the Kentucky Raid in a way the public can appreciate. Without the committee, I wouldn’t have been sensitive enough to avoid certain pitfalls.

Question to artist: What might the Kentucky Raid mural teach the public? What has the experience of creating it taught you so far?

Response: I hope viewers will wonder about and imagine the lives of every character represented. One of my favorite characters is the baby; the baby represents the destruction of families. I think about how the baby’s mother bolted out the window in fear, but her baby’s cry drew her out of hiding and in to captivity. The mother reacted instinctively in both situations – she did not have the leisure of making decisions. We now have the responsibility of creating a society that supports rather than destroys families.  What ought we to do? Why aren’t we doing it? In roughly six generations, we have moved from slavery to choosing a black president. Even though we have a long way to go toward racial equity, we are finding our way.

For the complete interview- and others- see our National Gallery of Writing Collection!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Week of August 15

A Composition of Many Colors

Looking back and moving forward

Monday, August 23, 2010

Forum on Art & Community

An early morning Forum on Art and Community will be held Wednesday,
Sept 8, 2010 at the Meeting of the Human Services Coordinating Council.

The meeting will be held in the Flagg Room of the Cass District Library,
319 M-62 N, Cassopolis, Mi 49031 (296-445-3400) at 7:45am.
Dr. Veta Tucker
will discuss Sanctuary and Deliverance, a community mural project, and
encourage reflection on how art can inspire community. The question,
posed in small group format, is:
“Can public art make a difference in community? How?”

In accordance with the goals of the project and
Michigan Humanities Council guidelines, this forum is free, open to
all, and is handicapped accessible. The Sanctuary and Deliverance Mural
project is sponsored by the Minority Coalition of Cass County, MI and
funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 5th

Lead artist Ruth Andrews working hard toward the mural's completion.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Booker T. Washington Visited Cass County, MI

Booker T. Washington was a educator, author, and African American Civil Rights Leader born in Virginia in 1856. Mr. Washington visited Calvin Township in Cass County, Mi and interviewed residents and community members throughout the area. We have included this information to show the interest and prominence this area of Michigan generated.
Here are some excerpts from : Two Generations Under Freedom written for The Outlook, February 7, 1903, Mr. Washington's review of the visit cumulated into 12 pages with photos:

“In Calvin Township in 1900 there were 759 negroes and 512 whites. I made diligent inquiry to ascertain if there was any friction between the two races, and could find no evidence that there was.” (page 420).

“I was a little curious to see to what extent the colored people took interest in the large national questions. I asked a good many of them how they stood on the question of reducing the tariff on Cuban sugar. In spite of the fact that Michigan is producing much beet sugar, I found that most of the colored people in this township were in favor of helping Cuba, and they were not slow to give their reasons.” (page 422).

“In my inspection of their church houses there were two things that specifically pleased me. One was the fine and neat appearing parsonage which stood near the Chain Lake Baptist Church; the other was the appearance of the graveyard near the same building. The church house, the parsonage, and the graveyard gave one a picture which made him feel that he was in a Massachusetts village. The graveyard was laid out in family plots, and most of the graves had marble slabs or headstones. There were evidences that the burial-place received systematic care.” (page 423).

Excerpts from: Tales of the Great Lakes: Stories from Illinois, Michigan Minnesota, Wisconsin. Castle, 1986.