The Eagle Soars
Copyright 2009 © David G. Wilson
Acrylic on canvas; 2009, Collection of the artist.
This painting and text are published via this medium only for the intellectual edification of the general public . No unauthorized commercial use is allowed without expressed written permission.
The election of President Barack Obama has been a source of pride to many Americans; not only those of African descent, but also all Americans who care about the ideals of inclusion. This momentous election demonstrates that America, although sometimes slow in fulfilling its promises eventually delivers and that anyone, regardless of racial, ethnic or gender classification, could be anything he/she wishes to be. It is not only an African American triumph, but a triumph for American ideals.
So, in this painting, I have indicated the triumph of American ideals by wrapping his head in Old Glory, the American flag, under which the national bird, the bald eagle soars to greater heights. Only in America would a person of a minority group be accepted and voted in by a plurality for the highest office in the land. Regardless of what other countries may claim, they have not proven that equality exists in their pluralist society.
In the background, the blue skies are the limit to what anyone may achieve in spite of the high barriers and the clouds of obstruction. Liberty, wearing a cloak that is soaked in the blood of Africans and holding the whip that did the damage, waves the African flag of pride as she scales the tremendously high barrier of exclusion - the rope that might have lynched him in the days of Jim Crow. It is strung from the old whipping pole to the scintillating flagpole. The high barrier of exclusion which represents the exclusive club that was the presidency has been surmounted. Surmounting the barrier of exclusion requires daring adventure as many an African American of high achievement like Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King and Hank Aaron had to face and leaps over those high barriers.
On his shoulders is the heavy burden of the Purple Mountains, upon which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his final speech, symbolically climbed, looked over and saw the Promised Land. That Promised Land is evident in the green pastures and leveling plateau on which the viewer, the majestic flagpole and the whipping pole stand.
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