Lynchings of African-Americans reached an all time high in August of 1946. Citizens across America urged President Truman to end the horror. Joseph Hirsch painted a mother and child, the surviving family members of a lynching victim. The mother holds firmly onto her active child while turning her face in grief.
Dave and I used to have an LP record by Lead Belly a well-known American folk and blues musician. Here Lead Belly is painted singing the classic song Good Night Irene to an admiring audience of one. The artist Charles White originally sold this painting to singer Harry Belafonte. My second name is Irene.
Lynch Family and Lead Belly were two of the pieces that caught my mind and heart when I toured the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City a few weeks ago.