For over a decade beginning in 1965, Charles White taught at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, where he instructed the next generation of African American contemporary artists including Kerry James Marshall and David Hammons.
This print's title is taken from a poem by Margaret Walker, published in an 1939 issue of Poetry, which described the struggles and strength of African Americans since the advent of slavery. Like Charles White, Walker worked in Chicago during the 1930s and '40s, a period that came to be known as the Chicago Black Renaissance. In this lithograph, published a decade after the poem, White interpreted Walker's words visually through the overlapping profiles of a couple who both look slightly upward with expressions that suggest both anxiety and resilience. In such images, White aimed to create a new art that was created both about and for Black Americans.
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