Emmett Till on MLK day

A new portrait of Emmett Till, the first in a series of three drawings of this civil rights icon, is paired with the Talking Heads lyric “same as it ever was.” For what I think are obvious reasons. The brilliant Jabari Asim wrote in his indispensable book The N Word, that “far more durable is the majority culture’s invocation of ‘timeless American values’ such as individual rights, religious freedom, and equal justice, and its simultaneous ignorance of other traditional American values such as greed, duplicity, and intolerance.” Till is as relevant today as he was in the 1950’s when he was lynched by two white men who were then acquitted of the crime. Such atrocities still happen. In my Chicago, there is still needless violence visited upon young black men and women. Same as it ever was.

See my 2nd version of the Emmett Till portrait, a work in progress, in the WIP gallery.