At This Crossroad of History, Which Path Will You Follow?

As modern historians, we try to examine history in a holistic way, looking at all sides, examining all perspectives. To do this, we use primary source information for fact-based story telling. Unlike in the past, where history was the story of the victors, we strive to present history in neutral terms presenting artifacts from an earlier time to objectively inform our decisions in the future.   The recent protests over the murder of George Floyd–an unarmed Black father—by Minneapolis police has made it clear that in order to gain a truly holistic picture of the past we must now put neutrality aside.   We must examine our failures in achieving a just and fair society both as a nation and in each and every town within that nation.  We must admit to these failures and to the fact that they have informed the times in which we live today—times that are too often unjust and inequitable especially for communities of color.  Black Americans continue to have dramatically fewer educational, economic, housing and healthcare opportunities than their white counterparts.  According to the NAACP, although African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015. The New York Times reports that data from Minneapolis indicates that the police force used brutality against Black people seven times more than it did for whites. It is a pattern that exists nationwide.  In 1968, following a year of dramatic protest and unrest in the demand for Civil Rights, The Kerner Commission, empaneled by President Lyndon Johnson, noted the failure of the American system in its treatment of its Black Citizens.  The report clearly and unequivocally stated:   “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal… What white Americans have never fully understood but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society …

Focus On The Greely Family: Sending Encouragement to Those on the Front Lines

My husband David and I are both self-employed. I’m an artist; primarily a printmaker and painter. All of my art shows have been canceled – along with summer plans for a printmaking residency. The Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, where I regularly worked using the printing presses and darkroom, has also closed. After working with the kids schooling during the day, I’m now trying to maintain a home-studio practice in the late afternoons and evenings. David is an economist and has been working the last several months on launching his own company – the future of which is now quite uncertain. So, we will both be looking at how to pivot our work and hopefully find a way forward.  As an artist, I am used to working alone and having stretches of quiet time to think and create. Having three kids at home 24/7 who are distance-learning through school, means very little time for my work. Even when I manage time in the studio, it is hard to quiet the mind and escape anxiety about what the future looks like in a post-pandemic world. I know that my artwork will change – but in what way remains unclear. I mean, all artwork is influenced by time, place, and events of the day. I will just keep showing up in the studio, doing the work, and trusting the process.   We are spending loads of time with the kids (Xavier, 14, 8th grade; Nathaniel, 12, 6th grade; Maeve, 8, 3rd grade). In addition to their schoolwork, we’ve worked on family art projects (right now we are painting rocks to hide around town), lots of games (favorites seem to be Apples to Apples, Kids Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens, and my oldest has created a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign for us to do as a family …