For Jobs and Freedom

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 in Blog, Interesting Stuff | 6 Comments

On August 28, 1963, civil rights leaders, most notably Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” This event, which drew hundreds of thousands of supporters to DC was where the now historic “I have a Dream Speech” was delivered. While this is undeniably one of the most significant moments of the period, I had never thought of materials required to mobilize such a gathering might look like – now I know.

I was shown some scans of an original program / portfolio which are an amazing resource for any activist, but particularly people interested in political art and the way art has been engaged in the service of movements and revolutions throughout history. I’ve seen lots of black and white photographs of posters, signs, banners and flags made for the march, but seeing this “collection of graphic collages… created specifically as a memento for those who participated in the historic March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs” is amazing. This booklet contained several collages which “depicts mans inhumanity, his cruelty to his fellow human being” and served as “a reminder of generations of generations of hope, of sacrifice and of faith.”

It was made by the artist Louis Lo Monaco. I had not known about him before and while information is sparse, this is his best known work and can be found in the library of congress. The collages are gorgeous to me, using lavish amounts of black and limited splashes of red and blue in really elegant ways. At the same time, they combine powerful / striking and disturbing images in a way that forces you to confront the realities of the time – something I think all (good) artists do.

6 Comments

  1. Ken Kellett
    October 21, 2011

    I know Lou LoMonaco. He lives in the same assisted-living complex as my Mom; he’s lived there since his wife (Shirley Verret, famous African-American opera singer) died. I have ‘adopted’ Lou and am working on a bio page for him. He should get more recognition, he’s a great man.

    Reply
    • Jake
      October 26, 2011

      Thank you for writing, If you need any help getting that page together on the web don’t hesitate to get in touch – I have hosting space available and build web sites

      Reply
      • devorah macdonald
        September 21, 2012

        I came across this while researching Lou. I have done so before and always come up short so know firsthand that information is needed. I find Lou LoMonaco’s illustrations in my collection of vintage Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazines and he obviously has lots of stories to tell and history to impart. Good luck and let me know if you need images going forward.
        Devorah Macdonald

        Reply
    • Laura
      August 21, 2013

      Hi Ken,
      I know this post is from 2 years ago but I was wondering if Lou is alive and if you still in contact with him. This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington. His work is iconic and means so much today, especially on this important day that is approaching. Is there any way you could e-mail me so I could get in touch with you? I would love to hear more about him. Lou’s story could be a great one to tell on this important day. Thank you,
      Laura (laura.ramirez@abc.com)

      Reply
  2. Peggy dobbins
    February 22, 2013

    I was so grateful to find a link to The artist who created the images that in truth, recruited me to The Movement more than anything that day. I cherished them for years and in moving list them. I am beginning a project about images of 1963 and had been wondering and googling for those. Please convey my great admiration to Louis LoManaco. Where is he? Can one be in touch with him?

    Reply
    • Laura Ramirez
      August 21, 2013

      Hi Peggy,
      Were you ever able to get in touch with Lou? What about your project about images of 1963? Were you able to make it happen? Are you going to Washington for the 50th anniversary of the march? Sorry for so many questions. I work with ABC News New York and I’m looking for strong stories to tell about that day and people like you who were part of history. Could you get in touch with me if possible? Thank you so much. Best,
      Laura (laura.ramirez@abc.com)

      Reply

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