Afro-pick sculpture behind Rizzo statue is anything but empowering

Wednesday, 13 September 2017, 05:43:40 AM. Now that the nearly 12-foot tall stainless steel pick has been placed firmly in the ground about 100 feet behind the city's most divisive mayor, I must say, I'm disappointed.
When I first heard about Mural Arts Philadelphia’s plan to put an Afro pick, complete with a clenched Black Power fist, in such close proximity to the controversial statue of Frank Rizzo, I was ecstatic. I thought: The Rizzo statue could stay exactly where it is if this iconic symbol of African American heritage, beauty and strength were nearby. Rizzo and his legacy Why haven't you shared your thoughts on Rizzo statue with city? Political vandalism: After Rizzo mural, 2 others were hit 'I didn't sign up for this.' Decision on Rizzo mural falls to building owner Of Rendell, Rizzo, and all this to-do over statues Push, pull, baby. But now that the nearly 12-foot tall stainless steel pick has been placed firmly in the ground about 100 feet behind the effigy of city’s most divisive — read: racist — mayor, I must say, I’m disappointed. Sorely. Before I continue, this is no critique of the work of artist Hank Willis Thomas. On its own, the statue of the Afro pick, titled All Power to All People, is a phenomenal piece of sculpture. In fact, with its smooth ebony handle and strong metal teeth, it’s quite the accurate representation of the styling aid that, back in the day, was buried deep in many a defiant Afro (including my Mommy’s, my Daddy’s, and all my uncles’). These days, Roots drummer Questlove sports one. Thomas told me All Power to All People was inspired by the Clothespin that sits at 15th and Market Streets. He said he would have been just as happy...Read more
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