Freedom's a-Callin Me by Ntozake Shange, paintings by Rod Brown is a deeply moving picture book. It's powerful poetry paired with dynamic paintings. The beautiful paintings appear to be done in oil on canvas. I find the poetry and paintings to be an amazing bond in this book. It's not an easy topic and as I've said before in this blog, I find it a strange mix of feelings to find someone's art so beautiful but it's about such a horrible subject. We must never forget one truth about history, no matter how difficult it is.
After contacting the illustrator, Rod Brown, this is what he has to say: "After 25 years of painting the African American history, from Goree Island to
the end of the civil rights era, it is good to know that someone is finding my
work important enough to discuss. The painting, "The Hiding Place", (it's real
title), is oil on canvas. It is an image of a slave hiding under the floor
boards of a home on the "Underground Railroad"." He is referring to my question about the full spread painting with the poem titled: The Hole. It had the strongest emotional pull for me.
The artist's website includes a wonderful offering of his works.