Celebrate “Black History” Month



Happy Hump Day, All!

Yes, indeed, we are at the half-way mark of the week again.  And it is a special “half-way” mark as it also is the first day of “Black History Month” for this year 2017.  I have been at this for 10 years or so now, writing e-mails and creating a blog entry that consists of the e-mail that I send to many of you which also includes a graphic and a topic pertaining to “world events”, many events occurring right here in the “good ole USA”!  Some of the issues I attempt to address are often controversial.  I chose certain topics just so that not only don’t “You” forget, but also so that I remember their importance.  The writing of these pieces are often somewhat therapeutic for me.  Feel free to let me know if you would NOT like to receive these e-mails, should you dare to read them!

In opening my “Google” search engine this morning, I came across a name that I have never heard before, which just goes to show that all “black people” don’t know of every contribution of African Americans to our world today … and even yesterday, so to speak!  The person is an African American woman of Native American heritage named Mary Edmonia Lewis.  Ms. Lewis was born in East Greenbush, NY on July 4th, 1844 and her education includes time at New York Central College, McGrawville as well as Oberlin College!  Imagine this … a woman of mixed heritage of African American stock and Native American heritage was not only able to study and excel as a sculptor, but during a horrific time of American History when African Americans were held as “slaves” in many states, and Native Americans were forced off of THEIR land, killed, conquered and displaced from THEIR native environment!!  Take a moment to imagine how dedicated and focused she must have been in order to achieve such notoriety … that I didn’t know about!  How about you?!?  Most of her sculpting was done in Rome, Italy as some of her most noteworthy works as “The Death of Cleopatra” and “Poor Cupid” reflected the “Neoclassicism” period of sculpting!!

As well, we in the United States of America have just witnessed quite a noteworthy event in our history with the two terms of Barack Hussein Obama as President of this nation, not to mention the establishment of a national African American Museum in Washington, DC including the statue of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. also there in the nation’s capitol! (There is also a National Museum of the Native American Indian, if I remember correctly, which is an integral part of the Smithsonian Institute!) Can you say, “We’ve come a long way, Baby”?!?  Please learn more about and embrace the contributions of African Americans not only to this country, but to this world, as evidenced by Mary Edmonia Lewis, the first African American/Native American sculptor who died on September 17th, 1907 in London, United Kingdom!


John I. Cook, Director

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