Charleston artist Kelvin M. Blufton Sr. will unveil the newest addition to an on-going series of paintings, “Anti-Slavery, Collective Resistance,” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16.
The exhibit, consisting of 41 paintings, is continuously on display at the African Redemptive Struggle Museum of Art at 249 St. Philip St. in Charleston.
The exhibit is open Monday but will be closed Tuesday. Starting Jan. 18, visitors can view the artwork from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays. The museum is in the fellowship hall at the Voice of Hope Church and Worship Center.
“Daniel in the Lion’s Den” is the newest addition to Blufton’s collection of acrylic and pastel paintings that he began creating in March 2020.
“I take every opportunity to dive deeper into our own efforts to free ourselves from the enslavement system,” said Blufton, a former Charleston police officer.
In a conversation with actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, King said: “I have come to believe that we are integrating into a burning house. I’m afraid that America has lost the moral vision she may have had, and I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised.”
Blufton’s painting, “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” is a depiction of King’s concern.
“I take every opportunity to dive deeper into our own efforts to free ourselves from the enslavement system,” Blufton said. As King approached the last days of his life and his non-violent resistance movement to break the back of segregation “he revealed that what he may have been doing was leading his people into a burning house,” Blufton said.
“This is not to disparage Dr. King, but we as Black people need to investigate. Did [King] march us into a burning house? We need to make a careful investigation into everything, including Dr. King’s efforts.”
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