The inspiration for the painting, US History (forgotten), was to address the gaping holes in basic American history that I had never been taught in school. It started as an oil painting collage with mixed media on this subject, but standing by itself, my painting could not tell these "forgotten" stories, so I built this website to accompany it. My goal is to provide this important history for educational purposes. I am a painter, not a historian, my research relies on archival documents and materials (vintage photos, posters, engravings, letters, speeches, proclamations, etc.) which serve as evidence of past events. Powerful first person accounts tell unique family stories. General reading lists for adults and for teaching children appear on the Resources page. Additional recommended books appear on each page of this site.
As dark and unpleasant as our nation's history is, the failure to include the violence and injustice of US history in school curriculum and textbooks has prevented accountability, awareness and compassion. This lack of accountability has resulted in the perpetuation of a system that has historically and still gives a lot of power to a small group - of land owners - and has denied power to people of color.
Standing against racism has always been very close to my heart. As a child, I took to heart the biblical plea to love thy neighbor, and our Declaration of Independence's claim that all men are created equal. To this day I grow more and more exasperated with the disparity between these empty words and what I am actually seeing. If a day ever comes when white Americans would not mind being treated like Black Americans, Native Americans, or any Americans that are not white, that is the day we can give up this fight. Until then, those of us shielded by our white privilege have a responsibility to loudly and clearly call for justice for all.
www.ushistoryforgotten.com will continue to be a work in progress, with new content continually added. So keep checking back.
About the art piece:
US History (forgotten) is a 4x4 foot collage of oil paintings on canvas along with mixed media. (Feathers, leather, jute twine, cotton thread, cotton fabric, rice paper, galvanized wire, cotton bol, sewing pins, safety pins, paper clips, binder clip, paper tag and duct tape. 48 x 48 inches (121.9 x 121.9 cm)
Why does Columbus, the father of extremely violent slave trading in the Americas, who never set foot in North America, have a US national holiday in his honor?
Inhumanity hits rock bottom: Slave ships.
Hundreds of landmark US.buildings, universities and churches were built by the literal blood, sweat and tears of slaves. Even the White House.
Where did our indigenous people go? Some history books try to whitewash US history by attributing it to disease. Stunningly hateful and callous words, even by US presidents, document the genocide.
Most Americans don't know that the Civil War was fought over slavery. The Confederacy's founders even spell it out in historical documents. Why don't textbooks and schools teach it?
Arguably America's first great heroes. The truly courageous Underground Railroad risked everything to provide freedom and liberty for all.
Emancipation was proclaimed, but freedom was still denied
California's Jim Crow laws restricted civil liberties and rights of Asian Americans: due process, employment, education, holding office, marriage, voting, owning property, where you could live, segregation, etc.
An earlier version of children in cages. The US government issued a “compulsory attendance” law authorizing federal officers to forcibly take Native American children from their parents and adopted them out to white people.
Tulsa had a thriving, prosperous black community - until police annihilated it. Why do history books fail to mention this 35 block massacre and bombing?
The US broke treaties stealing this ancestral land. Whose faces did the sculptor with KKK ties carve onto Black Hills /Mt.Rushmore? Four white men who supported Native American genocide.
Look beneath the history of our country ... What we choose to ignore will never go away.
July, 2016, Artist Dread Scott's flag is an update of the NAACP's flag
Between 1920 and 1938, after a lynching, this flag flew at the office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in NYC until the landlord threatened the office with eviction.