A Brand New Day™


The Militant Bodyguard... Jueseppi B.

The Militant Bodyguard…
Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0000000000000000000000000abrandnewday

 

 

Images For Your Pleasure: steal them and use them.

 

flag2

bq_ocf6cqaa1gxf-large

bq_cedwcyaexk3t-large

brabmsdciaaisy5-large

BrwJ_s9CAAAWu1b

obama-teachers

1557463_281210622060820_2592160231422217356_n

10312683_10203515627347511_9051628937143833246_n

Box55_pCAAEo29d

Br6CwspCAAA3kYO

Br2-iaICMAAiCEp

Br3MEftCUAIO2K4

Br06yExCcAA_SVp

Br9UAtBCYAAh6-t

darrell-issa

Br9pFUmCUAEfMmj

Br-omdxCcAAwxiH

Brz_iEBCYAAM_wf

BsAzLV7CcAE7ukz

Untitled

Br0ErSZCQAAI0km

 

 

It’s Raining Videos™
tumblr_mgo41t1j7k1qgawlzo1_500

 

Raw: Dust Storm, Rainbow Over Phoenix

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

A rainbow was visible over Phoenix as a dust storm covered part of the city. Arizona is dealing with heavy monsoon-season rains. (July 8)

 

 

 

Baby Abandoned in New York Subway Station

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

New York City police are searching for a woman who abandoned a baby in a Manhattan subway station. The baby girl is six or seven months old, with no apparent signs of trauma. (July 8)

 

 

The world continues to quickly spin counterclockwise down the toilet of insanity.

 

 

It’s Confirmed, NSA Has Your X-Rated Information

 

Published on Jul 7, 2014

“Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

 

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

 

Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.”

 

 

NEWS FLASH: The NSA is NOT a quilting, spelling bee, or cookie baking organization. The NSA SPIES! Thats why The NSA was created. It’s a SPY organization created after 911. In case your head is up your ass and you didn’t know….NOW you know.

 

 

220 Thousand Metal Workers are on Strike in South Africa

 

Published on Jul 7, 2014

Patrick Bond: They are demanding higher wages and an end to Neo-Liberal ANC policies.

 

 

Amazing. You can’t get 220,000 Black Americans to do anything in Umoja, except shoot one another.

 

 

Float Maker: ‘I am not a hate monger’

 

Published on Jul 7, 2014

Accused of making a racist July 4th parade float, Dale Remmich says it was a depiction of himself, and not the president.

 

 

If you believe this racist caucasian piece of shit, I have several Rolex timepieces to sell you out the back of my trunk, in an alley, at 3 AM.

 

 

Shut Your Mouth And Take It, ‘Fox & Friends’ Advises Women

 

Published on Jul 7, 2014

“A Fox & Friends segment on Monday warned women looking to succeed in business ‘not to raise their voices’ and not to talk too much.

 

Fox News host Steve Doocy introduced Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book, Executive Presence, by advising that women should wear ‘well-cut jeans with a colorful top,’ while an on-screen graphic told them ‘not to raise their voices.'”

 

 

If you actually watch this racist anti American station, no better for your dumbass.

 

 

Is cyclist’s missed kiss the most awkward ever?

 

Published on Jul 7, 2014

Kisses gone amiss. Did she just DISS his kiss? CNN’s Jeanne Moos has all the angles on kissing.

 

 

I LIKE Jeanne Moos.

 

 

Brain implant allows paralyzed man to move again

 

Published on Jul 7, 2014

“Mind over matter” is becoming more than just an expression thanks to scientists from Ohio State University and research center Battelle. Researchers successfully used a brain implant and a complex series of electronics to bypass Ian Burkhart’s injured spinal cord, allowing the quadriplegic to move his arm using his thoughts. RT’s Manila Chan takes a look at the technology behind the breakthrough.

 

 

“Hopeland” is full up this morning, ya’ll stay out my lavender!!

 

 

Powerful Typhoon Neoguri strikes Japan

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

Typhoon Neoguri has hit Japan, battering the island of Okinawa with 125 mph winds.

 

 

!!!!!!!ooooooooooooooooooooooooooootwitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That American flag they are waving represents death, murder, slaughter and disease to most of the world, the American flag is a symbol worldwide, of evil. Remember: “Pride goeth before the fall.”

 

 

https://twitter.com/WeWantWarren/statuses/485841314420756481

 

 

AxXLohKCAAEanTT

22f1859164124ddac16ad217d74cfe09185b865b862e4a6637269af7b634b25d

00000voteyall

000000000000000234youtubetrailer

Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis; Mom’s Politics, Part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop.


 

By Jueseppi B. Reposted from Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis & her blog, One Year Without Mum.

mum3

 

 

Mom’s Politics, part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop

 

Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013

Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013

 

 

November 2013 Florida Hospital

“THAT is a very bad word!” Mom wags a finger at me. “You should not call him that!”

 

I am sitting by Mom’s bed in her room at Florida Hospital in Tampa and reading the daily Twitter news. Mom struggled with both Facebook and Twitter. Determined to learn social media, she dove into Facebook with a vengeance. Twitter is still a mystery to her, but she follows posters through me.

 

“Mum, ‘Negro’ is not a swear word…”

 

She shakes her head. “Shame on you! Don’t tell me, I know about bad words! That is the number two N word!”

 

My parents have their own interpretations of what words, names and phrases mean. My father doesn’t understand all the fuss about the name of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. “I live in a family of very loud women. I get it.”

 

Back in 2000, we all encouraged Mom to use the computer for more than just email and news. That suggestion created a firestorm. It started off slow with her learning the basics of what my ex told her was called “The IntraNeck.” In 2009, one of my nieces set her up with a Facebook account and things were never the same in our family.

 

Vengeance is a nice way of putting it. Mom discovered almost immediately that she could not only monitor our liberal views, but also our very liberal behavior and extremely liberal use of the F word.

 

“I don’t need anyone to show me, I’ll figure it out!”

 

Like so many parents of my adult friends, she didn’t even attempt to learn the basics of online etiquette as it related to her tribe and instead posted comments better served in a private phone conversation.

 

“Your hair looks terrible!” might be a comment you’d find one morning under a photo you yourself had posted because you felt you looked extra fancy.

 

“That Mary needs to watch her weight! She’s starting to look like a sausage!” could very well show up on Mary’s page instead of the person Mom thought she was addressing.

 

Mom also friended everyone. “I am a friendly person! It’s rude to not respond.”

 

These friends included relatives from the distant past, Nigerian princes, strangers with exotic names, everyone’s ex-boyfriends AND ex-friends. She had no problems discussing what may have gone on during these once-current relationships and Facebook became like the dinner table when Dad talked as if you weren’t there.

 

 

December 1980

When my step-brother Chuck was diagnosed with cancer, Dad often utilized the evening meal to give us all an update about Chuck’s condition.

 

“Chuck looks great, doesn’t he? He really looks good.”

 

From the other end of the table Chuck waved a fork in the air and pronounced, “Hello! Dad! It’s me! Still here! Not dead yet!”

 

Everyone burst into laughter and Dad slammed his chair back. “You think that’s funny? That’s not funny!”

 

Chuck laughed the loudest, holding his sides, “It’s funny! Oh my God, IT’S FUNNY!”

 

Dad grabbed his plate, “I will not eat with YOU PEOPLE!” and stomped off to his chair – a mere ten feet from the table. Then he turned the TV volume up to drown out the rollicking table behavior.

 

 

2009

Mom was like that on Facebook.

 

“I don’t know why she doesn’t want to talk to you,” Mom typed. “Why don’t you just call her up?” I spend an inordinate amount of time removing posts that included my phone number, embarrassing details, or both. Then came the presidential election of 2000 and things sped downhill fast.

 

 

November 2013

“Please don’t call him that. It didn’t used to be a bad word, but I’m sure it is now. Why not call him Mr. Militant Black Man? It’s much nicer.”

 

Mom’s referring to a Twitter accounts she enjoys. Mr. Militant Negro is the handle of a well-written guy who tweets eloquently about a wide spectrum of issues close to her heart as well – social injustice, racial equality, political shenanigans and Trayvon Martin. I find it interesting that although Mom me wants to change Mr. Militant Negro’s name, the “Militant” part is perfectly acceptable. Because that’s how she is herself. Mom is a political militant.

 

Mom is so angry about the death of Trayvon, she’s brought it up almost every day since I have been visiting, despite the fact it has been a year since the murder. She always links him with Medgar Evers, the young civil rights activist murdered in 1963.

 

“Mom, Travyon was just a kid walking down the street.”

 

It doesn’t matter to her. “SOME PEOPLE just want to kill other kinds of people. And you don’t know who Trayvon could have grown up to be.” She’s right and this time I love her for it. Mom is mystified that George Zimmerman is a free man. “Stand your ground doesn’t mean all the ground all over the neighborhood! It means your own house!”

 

She often asks me to read from Trayvon’s mother’s account.

 

“I wonder how she’s doing. A year is the blink of an eye. That’s all. I must write to her again when I get out of here.”

 

Mom writes to everyone.

 

She also loves playing a game where she calls out a celebrity and I look them up on Twitter to see what they might be saying. Especially Roseanne Barr.

 

“What the hell is wrong with her today” Mom would ask. “She’s so mad all the time!” And Cher. “She’s a terrible speller but I love her!” And every subject on the front page of the newspaper. Not The Enquirer that Yaya called the newspaper – the other papers. Mom wants everybody’s take on every single thing across the planet.

 

I am trying to explain to her that I personally have not named every Twitter user in cyberspace, that folks choose their own handles, but she’s not having any of it.

 

“Mum, that’s the name he chose. I didn’t pick it. Everyone gets to name themselves. He’s making a point!”

 

“Hmmm,” Mom flips through The National Enquirer. ”Then I bet you call yourself Miss Fancy Pants!” she says slyly.

 

“I do not, Mum!” Although I do make my iPhone’s Siri call me that. How does Mom know all of this stuff?

 

“Ecch, take this one away about Oprah. They should leave her alone! All she does is try to help people and if she is a lesbian, I say good for her! Would you look at Bill Clinton?” she points at another story. “He is losing too much weight. He should see his doctor.” Pages flip. “Do you think he’s a Black Panther? I’ve always been interested in the Panthers, I wonder if I should write to him?”

 

The conversation has derailed. I cautiously say the name of “He Who Should Not Be Named Because He Cheated On His Wife And Do Not Say Anything Bad About Jack Kennedy Because That Was Different.”

 

“Bill Clinton?”

 

Mom was a lifelong Democrat. Until the day came that she broke up with William Jefferson Clinton. It was a painful time in our Democratic tribe.

 

Mom makes a disgusted sound. “Not HIM! I mean Mr. Militant Black Man! You need to keep up. Also ask him if he knows anything about the Weather Underground. THAT is a very interesting story…”

 

As Mom launches into the details of Dr. Timothy Leary’s jailbreak, I make a mental note to remind myself we will not be asking about the Black Panthers on Twitter. I also notice she seems to have softened toward Bill Clinton and his health issues. It must the painkillers.

 

mum4

 

The late 1960′s 

Boston has struggled to overcome its sad history of inequality, steeped in the racism of Yawkey’s Fenway Park and paraded forth to Whitey Bulger’s Irish assault on interracial bussing. Decades ago the neighborhoods surrounding Beantown had powerful invisible lines of demarcation respected by all races and religions. You did not go enter any area where your “people” did not reside. It was a specific kind of racism that my grandfather believed was the result of immigrants attempting to recreate their home countries in the small pockets where they now resided. If mixing of these backgrounds occurred through “unfortunate” marriages, the lines shifted to separate the Catholics from everyone else. This created such confusion in some families that many newly married couples moved to New Hampshire.

 

My mother was a young single mother when she moved Sissy and I to a duplex just above a housing project in Worcester. We attended an experimental elementary school – the forerunner to the Magnet Program – and therefore our classmates came in every race and religion. Isolated from the fear and suspicion of Boston, we never had to learn that people are all the same. We already knew it. Mom was smart, she moved us there – against her parents’ wishes – to take advantage of what she realized could be the best educational opportunity she could offer us.

 

The schoolyard housed a little pony that all the kids clamored to feed and brush. We learned to read a new way, a technique that eventually became known as “speed reading.” Even kindergarteners were taught to use their peripheral vision to read books a line at a time instead of the traditional “word by word” routine. Yaya, Nana and Mom were all voracious readers-for-pleasure and this only enhanced our lifelong love of books.

 

Nana kept up with the news. Mom loved literature. Yaya loved the lurid true detective magazines she hid from her daughter but freely allowed her granddaughter – Mom – to enjoy. She also had a library of the early tabloids like Movie Screen so she could keep up with sagas like the marriages of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton and refer back to them for “research material” as new scandals unfolded.

 

Yaya also harbored a secret crush on Senator Edward Brooks. She had to hide her one-sided romance from her daughter. Not because Brooks was an African American. Because he was aRepublican. My grandparents were unique in their working class neighborhood because they truly didn’t care what color anybody was – as long as they were a Democrat.

 

“MOTHER!” Nana scolded when she found a pile of True Confessions hidden in Yaya’s laundry basket under her white nursing home uniforms. “Those are awful magazines! When you buy them, the store clerk probably tells the other customers that you’re Shanty Irish!”

 

Shanty Irish was a terrible insult and indicated that the recipient of such a comment was trashy. Yaya shrugged and waved her daughter off. “Better to be Shanty Irish that reads than Lace Curtain Irish that pretends they don’t!”

 

She was referring to Nana’s hidden stash of scandalous potboilers like Peyton Place and Valley Of The Dolls.

 

Lace Curtain Irish basically meant “Miss Fancy Pants.” Nana was known to put on a few airs now and again. It wasn’t until she was way into her seventies that she donned that red latex teddy. I was storing wardrobe in the bathroom closet for reshoots on a Burt Reynolds movie called Big City Blues. While visiting on Thanksgiving, Nana dug around and the cherry color caught her eye. She tried it on and pranced into the living room with a dramatic “TAH DAH!” All the guests screamed with delight.

 

Our childhood neighborhood on St. Nicholas Ave was a hill of small duplexes inhabited by single mothers. Weekends we’d tear down the street to collect any friends that were on “off weekends.” Off weekends meant this wasn’t your father’s visitation week. During the summer months, there was no need to knock on any doors. If you passed by a friend’s and the windows were open, the sound of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin loudly spilling into the street was a sign to keep going. That friend was gone until Monday and the resident mother was housecleaning while Dino and Frankie crooned notes of encouragement about a better future.

 

Mom’s divorce was very difficult. Shunned by both sides of the family, we were her one link to even speaking to her parents. As much as Nana and Poppy were horrified she’d married a Greek, they became apocalyptic when she was “ex-communicated” – as Poppy called – from returning to the Catholic Church because she was now divorced. The bonds she’d made with our biological father’s family were in tatters. As usual, the one person who refused to take sides was Yaya. I can remember my short round great-grandmother coming to our snowy neighborhood in a cab, bearing groceries and treats, shoving small bills into Mom’s purse when her back was turned. This was after her own daughter forbade her to do so. “She made her bed, now she’s got to lie in it.”

 

But Yaya was a militant.

 

It was during this time of freedom that Mom flourished more than suffered. She read what she wanted, said what she thought and began a quest that lasted her entire life – learning as much as she could about the world, how it worked and everyone who lived in it. From rock and roll to human rights, Mom was delighted to create her own society. How grateful we are to her.

 

 

November 2013 Florida Hospital

“…because regular ties were used to strangle black men in the South.”

 

I look up from Twitter. “What the hell are you talking about, Mum?”

 

She sighed. “I was telling you that I met a gentleman who is a Black Muslim and I asked him why he wears a bow tie and he told me. I find that interesting and very sad at the same time. Don’t you?”

 

Seriously. Mom. “Where did you meet a Black Muslim?” I asked. “At the grocery store?”

 

Mom considers this. “No, my store is mostly old people. I met him at that vigil, remember? For Terri Schiavo’s parents? When I made that lasagna for them and Jesse Jackson? Because they had been there so long and you just can’t cook big meals in a motor home…”

 

Mom sure gets around.

 

 

March 2005

Terri Schiavo was the young St. Petersburg wife who suffered a cardiac arrest in 1990 and lapsed into a lengthy coma. Her husband and his experts insisted she was in a vegetative state and would never recover. He fought in the courts to have her life support removed. Terri’s parents felt their daughter was still there and would someday fully awaken. The battle waged on until 2005 when federal court allowed the removal of the feeding tube. Terri survived for thirteen days. During that time Mom drove down to the parking lot of the hospice facility where the Schiavos were staying, waiting, as did scores of others including the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

 

“Why doesn’t he just divorce her?” Mom fumed as she prodded the lasagna in the oven, pulled it out and covered it with Reynolds Wrap.

 

“Why don’t YOU just mind your own business?” Dad rattled the newspaper for emphasis. ”

 

“He just wants the insurance money! I saw it on The Intraneck…”

 

“Internet.”

 

‘I CAN CALL IT WHAT I WANT!” Mom stomped her foot. She did not like to be corrected. “Why can’t he just give her back to her parents? I’m going down there!”

 

Dad slammed the paper down. “Oh no you are not! There’s probably gonna be a big riot. You could get hurt or you’ll get arrested!” What Dad meant was “You’ll get arrested!” but he threw the safety thing in so no one thought he was bitching he might have to leave the house and miss the ball game.

 

“Fine!” she fumed. She went into the bedroom and put on her good walking sneakers. She grabbed her keys, purse and the heavy pan.

 

“I’m going to the library!” she called on her way out the front door.

 

“WHY ARE YOU TAKING THE LASAGNA TO THE LIBRARY???”

 

Mom did meet the Schiavos and Reverend Jesse Jackson. I wish I could relate the intimate details of their conversations, but I don’t know them. Mom said it was private. I do know Mom’s People told her that Terri was ready to move on, but was waiting for her parents to get to the same place. What Mom wanted was for Terri’s parents to have the time they needed. As for Reverend Jesse? No idea what they talked about. I can say that when Mom broke up with Bill Clinton, she never broke up with Jesse. So it must have been something pretty good.

 

 

November 2013 Florida Hospital

“He’s a good news friend for us,” Mom says of Mr. Militant Negro. “I like how he thinks.”

 

She put down The Enquirer and looked at me. “Don’t get on there telling him crazy things about that Al Gore inventing The Intraneck! He’ll think you’re a nut and block you!”

 

Mom now knows a thing or to about getting blocked. At least from Facebook. And I know enough not to correct her.

 

“OK Mum.” I read to her and think about Hillary and Mom and how she went from campaigning for Ted Kennedy to listening to Rush and then eventually rounding back to the creation of her own personal militant party. Because once a liberal, always a liberal.

 

Author’s Note: As children, Sissy and I didn’t want for much. Mom was an only child (or so she thought) and Nana and Poppy, as well as our Greek relatives, made sure there were always toys and trips. Mom saved all summer for school clothes. Even our dog Ziggy had a new collar every Christmas. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized it was Mom who often went without. As I write, I remember an “off weekend.” Mom shaking Jiffy Pop on the stove. The thin tinfoil balloon rising. Our duplex filled with the irresistible aroma of the coming evening, watching Creature Feature. Suddenly, the tinfoil exploded and popcorn flew all over the kitchen. Mom just laughed. Then she tossed the burnt tin in the sink and brought down a second Jiffy Pop from the top of the fridge. “I was afraid this might happen! I can’t have my girls go popcorn-less!”  I wonder what she didn’t buy for herself when decided instead to purchase that kernel insurance for us. You can still get those flat pie tins with the wire handle now and again at the Dollar Store and on the occasion when I see them, I always buy two. Thank you, Mom. Everybody needs an extra Jiffy Pop. Just in case.

 

Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.

Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.

 

 

This Is Mum. January 19, 1937 to December 24, 2013. Our Year Without Mum

 

mum1

mum2

mum5

mum6

mum7

mum8

mum9

mum10

mymum1

mymum2

mymum3

mymum4

 

 

Margo Hart Brandt, wife, whimsical mother, grandmother, professional photographer, floral window designer, reader and researcher of everything spiritual passed away on December 24th 2013, the most magical day of the year.
Born to Alice and Edward Hart, Margo joined the world on January 19 in 1937 in Winchendon, Massachusetts. She twirled her way through Wachusett Regional High School as a drum majorette, was the owner of a baby goat who routinely ate her dresses off the clothesline, graduated from Nicholas School Of Business and entered adulthood as a wife, mother and a woman curious about the way everything in the world worked.
Margo spent her summers in Scituate, in a tiny New England seaside town, where she taught her daughters to shuck an entire lobster in three minutes, cheer for her beleaguered Boston Red Sox, to climb a rocky jetty in bare feet, the value of a small sparkle of blue-green sea glass and why periwinkles should remain in the ocean.
She was the manager of all family catastrophes. Margo jumped from the swimming pool and drove in her bathing suit to be by the side of a hospitalized granddaughter. After the death of her adult son, she legally adopted his widow to secure the circle of family.
Her husband Chet Brandt traveled the world from Boston to Japan, keeping America safe as a soldier. He graduated from the University of Miami, got a job providing assurance to needy families and scooped up the love of his life. She kept him hoppin’ for forty-three years.
Margo was the keeper of the flame of family accomplishments. With children and grandchildren employed in a wide spectrum of professions from lawyer, film producer, administrator, boat engineer and pathology technician to homemakers, a film and television stuntwoman and a wardrobe assistant, she made it her life’s work to champion their careers.
She marched to her own drummer and followed causes close to her own heart. Margo was an advocate and volunteer for the rights of abused women, CASA St. Petersburg, a supporter of LGBT equality, and children with Downs Syndrome, a faction of society she called, “God’s Angels.”
In her later years, Margo consumed books and movies like popcorn. Her favorite song was the fifties classic “Sh-Boom” by The Crew Cuts because life could be a dream but she loved all music from Sinatra to Eminem and especially Elvis.
In her mid-sixties, Margo had her belly button pierced because “it seemed like fun” and got a shamrock tattoo on her hip. She convinced her eighty-year-old husband to also visit the tattoo parlor and get his own military rendering on his arm.
Born into an Irish Catholic family, she studied Eastern religion and philosophy and based all of her own studies on the simple mantra of “Why not?”
She always identified herself on the telephone, even before you could say “Hello!” by announcing, “This IS Mum!”
Margo was born into a family of typical New England women. Occasionally referred to as difficult, these women always spoke their minds, never backed down and never gave up. They loved as fiercely as they often disagreed. As her own grandmother wrote, “This little girl I have loved all of my life.” In praise of difficult women!
Margo is survived by her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren and will also be remembered eternally by family and friends around the globe.
This little girl we have loved all of our life.
And she always loved the Bookmobile.
She would want you to know that.
So long Mum, and thanks for all the fish.

Untitled

mymum3

mymum2

mum10

mummy1

mummy2

mummy4

mymum1

mummy9

mummy8

mummy6

mom2

mom1

mom5

mom8

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Black History Moment: Black American Artist, Mr. William Johnson


By Jueseppi B.

 

twitter

 

 

One of William Johnson’s many self portraits.

 

 

William Henry Johnson (March 18, 1901–1970) was an African American painter born in Florence, South Carolina, and is becoming more widely recognized as one of the greatest American artists of the 20th Century. He became a student at the Nation Academy of Design in New York. As his style evolved from realism to expressionism to a powerful folk style (for which he is best known), his work always evokes transitory and sublime sensations, that have been often mimicked but never matched. Without question, he has widened the perimeter of how the Negro historical experience will be remembered and how it will be defined in the future.

 

 

Career

In 1944 his wife, Holcha Krake, a Danish textile artist whom he met in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, died from breast cancer. To deal with his grief, he took work in a Navy Yard, and in 1946 left for Denmark to be with his wife’s family. Johnson soon fell ill himself, from the effects of advanced syphilis, and returned to New York in 1947 to enter the Central Islip State Hospital on Long Island, where he spent the remainder of his life. He stopped painting in 1956 and died on January 1, 1970.

 

Before his death he donated all of his work to the National Museum of American Art, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2006, the Smithsonian American Art Museum organized and circulated a major exhibition of his works, William H. Johnson’s World on Paper. The exhibition traveled to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in 2007.

 

 

461px-Street_Musicians,_by_William_H._Johnson

Street Musicians (1939-1940), by William H. Johnson.

 

 

 

475px-William_H._Johnson_Self-Portrait

Self-portrait, ca. 1930-1935

 

 

 

Known for distinctive modernist images of African American life, William Johnson died destitute and deranged from syphilis, having spent the last twenty-three years of his life in the Central Islip Sate Hospital on Long Island.  He stopped painting in 1956.

 

One of his chief sponsors and exhibitors for his art was the New York Harmon Foundation, which, in 1929, presented him the “Award for Distinguished Achievements Among Negroes in the Fine Arts Field.” Most of his work was h (showing 500 of 6965 characters).

 

18

 

 

 

1287

 

 

 

In 1947, he was committed to an institution as a result of a mental breakdown. Three years before his death, he donated all of his work to the National Museum of American Art. His collection consists of hundreds of watercolors, oil, and drawings done with Constructivist and African tribal influence.

 

Some said he died of a broken heart.

 

h1 William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Soap Box Car Racing 1939-40

 

 

 

phvn9xliAwzAmCGATvuZ_zl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJ

 

 

Johnson was not a self-taught or outsider artist. At age 17, Johnson moved to New York City, where he supported himself by working as a cook, hotel porter, and stevedore. In September 1921, he enrolled at the School of the National Academy of Design (NAD). Between 1923-1926, during the academic year he studied with Charles W. Hawthorne at the NAD and during the summers at The Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

 

 

f William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Lil' Sis

William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Lil’ Sis

 

 

In 1926, Johnson sailed to Paris to study art. He worked as a custodian to make ends meet. Over the next few years, he held exhibits in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium. In 1930, Johnson married Danish textile artist Holcha Krake. Johnson and his wife worked in countries throughout Europe; and in 1932, the couple arrived in Tunisia, where Johnson hoped to learn more about his African heritage. After a 3 month stay, they returned to Denmark via France.

 

 

f William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Mom and Dad 1944

William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Mom and Dad 1944

 

 

 

During the next couple of years the Johnsons visited Norway and Sweden, where they continued to exhibit their art. The couple spent most of the ’30s in Scandinavia, where Johnson’s interest in primitivism and folk art began to have a noticeable impact on his work.

 

 

fa1 William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Farm Couple at Well 1939-40 Print

William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Farm Couple at Well 1939-40 Print

 

 

 

Johnson’s bold, rough woodcuts from the 1930s, inspired by German expressionist woodcutting techniques, distinguish his prints from the work of most other American artists, who used more traditional methods of printmaking. The materials he used for making relief prints were readily available: scrap lumber or a piece of linoleum.

 

 

fa2 William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Deep  South 1940-41 Print

William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Deep South 1940-41 Print

 

 

After he and his wife returned to the United States in 1938, Johnson continued to produce relief prints. He also began to experiment with serigraphy. While many American artists of his generation created multiple impressions of a single image, Johnson often varied the image from one impression to the next. His prints, like his paintings, reveal the development of his distinctive artistic language to express powerful narrative, emotional, and symbolic content.

 

Back in the US, Johnson immersed himself in the traditions of the African-American community, producing work characterized by its stunning, eloquent, folk art simplicity. Like Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, Johnson began probing the black experience, drawing imagery from his rural southern childhood and from Harlem’s upbeat urban ambiance  A Greenwich Village resident, he became a familiar figure on the New York art scene.

 

Although Johnson enjoyed a certain degree of success as an artist in this country and abroad, financial security remained elusive. William H. Johnson taught painting for a short period of time at the Harlem Community Art Center. The Metropolitan Museum of Art included his work of black soldiers in its 1942 exhibit Artists for Victory.

 

By the time of his death in 1970, he had slipped into obscurity. After his death, his entire life’s work was almost disposed of to save storage fees; but it was rescued by friends at the last moment. Over 1000 paintings by Johnson are now part of the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

 

 

fa10 William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Chain Gang 1939

William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Chain Gang 1939

 

 

 

h3 William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Cafe 1939

William H. Johnson (American artist, 1901-1970) Cafe 1939

 

 

To see more of this amazing artist’s work, visit:

American Artist William H Johnson 1901-1970 – From the Deep South to New York to Europe & Back

 

 

19219_365857606855231_1982075481_n

 

 

bloggers4peace

 

 

 

blackhistorymonthbanner

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 260,926 other followers

%d bloggers like this: