Bad Education - "The Past Is Never Dead. It's Not Even Past" > More Bad Education - "The Past Is Never Dead. It's Not Even Past"

Inspired by an antique photograph of a named southern school boy dated, 1869 and placed in Marion, Alabama, I was struck by the school boy's arrogant pose. Only ten years old, he had assumed a Napoleonic posture; aloof and his arm inside his school military jacket. The massacre of the welcoming, parishioners of the Emmanuel African Methodist Church, June 2015 by Dylann Roof’s and the murderer's use of the Confederate flag in his racist postings, prompted me to add this controversial symbol into the composition. The juxtaposition of the two African-American children picking cotton, both looking older than their apparent ages and the privileged white school boy inextricably links these children with this symbol and a history wrought with pain, racism and death. The title is from the Confederate Alabama state flag’s motto, Tangere Me Noli, translated as, touch me not.

Civil War era school boy, two African American children picking cotton, Confederate flag
Touch Me, Not (Noli Me Tangere)
oil on canvas
60 x 48"