And The Children Marched, a mixed-media project , visual art, music and history
Artist to Donate Work Depicting Children’s Contribution to Civil Rights
When people all over the world think about the Civil Rights Movement, an image of brave men and women confronting the twin wrongs of racial discrimination and social inequality come to mind. But in one of the signature events of civil rights history, the 1963 Birmingham march, it was children who played a pivotal and heroic role.
Barbara Kendall Reed, better known as the painter and designer B. Kendall, has captured this electric moment in a triptych painting titled “And The Children Marched”. The acrylic on wood composition is a tribute to the often unacknowledged contribution children have made to civil rights, and is a monument to the courage and resolve young people can bring to struggles against injustice.
The idea for “And The Children Marched” itself sprang from an important effort to chronicle civil rights history. In the spring of 2010 a massive outdoor mural by noted Atlanta artist Louis Delsarte was unveiled at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Commissioned by the City of Atlanta, the mural is a permanent installation depicting the most famous personalities and events of the civil rights era. Delsarte asked fellow artist Kendall how she would like to be involved in the project. She offered to orchestrate the involvement of children both as creative participants, and as witnesses to their own significant role in civil rights history.
“And The Children Marched” made a singular impression upon the crowd gathered for the mural unveiling as most had no idea that the violent and bloody events in Birmingham were endured by children as well as adults. A serpentine length of fire hose links the three panels visually as it snakes menacingly through a dynamic, colorful collage of childhood whimsy. It is a stunning, disturbing reminder that lurking in the familiar forms of civic life and service can reside the ultimate threats to our welfare and freedom.
Having received numerous solicitations to place “And The Children Marched” in private collections, Kendall has instead decided to donate the painting to a cultural institution of regional or national significance. She is particularly interested in making this gift to a museum or similar institution that can attract a large and diverse constituency to help build public awareness of the role children have played in securing freedom. Kendall has also collaborated with professional associates from the music and media professions to produce a moving narrative and soundtrack that enhance the painting’s accessibility for all audiences.
Additional information and details concerning the placement of “And The Children Marched” as a charitable donation with an appropriate institution may be obtained by contacting 404.202.9231
Atlanta’s big voice, Jay Edwards of WCLK and world famous violinist, John Blake, are involved in the audio of this project.
The unveiling of the video called The Children Marched will be held on Saturday, January 28th, from 2-4 at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta, Georgia. Children are encouraged to attend.
The video will feature an interview with civil rights icon, Rev. C. T. Vivian, telling the story of the historic children’s march in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
Barbara K. Reed, artist and poet; Jay Edwards, radio host; John Blake Jr., musician/violinist; Andre Harris, illustrator; and Brian Michaels, videographer are part of the team that created this video.
The project which consists of a 12′ mural, audio (cd), poem and now a video is ready to find a permanent home.
We are asking for ideas for placement as well as contact people. We need your help!