Our Visiting Artist this week was Joel Christian Gill a fascinating cartoonist who's passion is telling stories about the forgotten Black characters from History. He teaches at the NH Institute of Art.
He told us his own story about how his family was the richest Black family in their Southern town - but he grew up dirt poor with his mom and a variety of siblings by other fathers who came and went. Because their housing project was near the library - he discovered books and comics at a young age and pursued his love of art despite a wide range of imposing educational and social walls.
Now he not only draws comics, like Strange Fruit, but travels the country giving talks and he's done a TED talk too. He has some refreshing and thought-provoking ideas and if you are a teacher - you should get him to speak at your school!
One idea that stuck with me is that it's not "Black History" it's "American History". What happened to - and is STILL happening to - black people in the US - is part of all our histories. Here, we say someone is "black" or "white". But he pointed out that if he was sitting at a cafe in another country, with our white teacher, a local person would look at them and call them both - "Americans."