At age 23 Jacob Lawrence undertook this encompassing and ambitious series. The tradition of narrative history painting, the highest ideal of European painting since Giotto, but largely dormant since the early 1800's, had been revived in the contemporary mural cycles of Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco.
This great inner wanting yearned for a freedom we don't much talk about these days, in our relative affluence and comfort, but the music and the movement of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with its roots in Africa, in Gospel revival -- in growing up black in America -- went so much deeper than that.
The president doesn't "love" America? Would that it were true. Would that the president felt a responsibility to the global future and, at the same time, could summon our real past, grieve for its victims and vow with every fiber of his being to atone for our history of slavery and conquest: the "white terrorism" of manifest destiny. Would that the president didn't "love" our myths.