Tuesday Open Thread | Amy Sherald Week


Amy Sherald-EMPATHY

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Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson has ‘nothing to say’ to Trump

Nineteen days after her husband’s death and two days after his wrenching burial, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson said she has “nothing to say” to President Trump, whose condolence call pulled the grieving widow into the center of a national controversy.

“Very upset and hurt; it made me cry even worse,” Myeshia Johnson told “Good Morning America” about her conversation with the president.

Making her first public comments since she took the call from Trump last week — on the same day her husband’s remains were flown back to the United States — Johnson recalled that the president said her husband “knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways. And it made me cry. I was very angry at the tone of his voice, and how he said it.”

She added: “I didn’t say anything. I just listened.”

Trump on Monday disputed Johnson’s account, characterizing his conversation with her as “very respectful.”

Sgt. Johnson was killed in action in West Africa on Oct. 4, one of four U.S. soldiers who died in Niger when Islamic State militants attacked them.

His body was flown back to the United States on Tuesday. Soon after, his name became entangled in a controversy after Trump was accused of making insensitive remarks to the 25-year-old soldier’s widow.

Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) said Trump told Myeshia Johnson on the phone that her husband “must have known what he signed up for,” an account later corroborated by Johnson’s aunt and custodial mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson.

Trump vehemently denied Wilson’s account, stating without evidence that he had proof it was “totally fabricated.” But White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly later appeared to confirm Wilson’s account. Myeshia Johnson said Monday that Wilson’s version of events was “100 percent correct.”

Johnson said several people — including her aunt and uncle, an Army official, and Wilson — heard the conversation because Trump was placed on speaker phone.

“Why would we fabricate something like that?” she said.

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Monday Open Thread | Amy Sherald Week

Happy Monday, Everyone! This week’s featured artist is Amy Sherald. I was fascinated researching Ms Sherald and her body of work.

Amy Sherald (born 1973) is an American painter based in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work started out autobiographical in nature, but has taken on a social context ever since she moved to Baltimore.She is best known for her portrait paintings that address social justice, as well as her choice of subjects, which are drawn from outside of the art historical narrative. Through her work, she takes a closer look at the way people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social, and cultural expectations. Sherald is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery.

Early life and education

Amy Sherald was born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1973. As a child, she was never surrounded by art because it was never an interest for her family. Her mother only supported art as a summer program and never as a career, until she won the National Gallery Portrait Competition. She studied at the Clark Atlanta University, where she earned her Bachelor of the Arts degree in painting in 1997. After that, she became an apprentice to Dr. Arturo Lindsay, who was an art history professor at Spelman College.In 1997, she was also a part of the Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence program in Portobelo, Panama. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004, where she earned her M.F.A. in painting. After gaining her M.F.A, she lived and studied with painter Odd Nerdrum in Larvik, Norway. In 2008 she attained an artist residency assistantship at the Tong Xion Art Center in Beijing, China.[

Sherald’s work focuses on issues of race and identity in the American South. Her experience of being one of very few black students to attend a private school often influences her work. At the beginning of her career, she started out by installing and curating shows in the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo and the 1999 South American Biennale in Lima, Peru. Recently, her work was acquired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian Museum of African American Art.She also has helped to organize and install international exhibitions in Central and South America.
In October 2017 it was announced that Sherald and Kehinde Wiley had been chosen to paint official portraits of Michelle Obama and Barack Obama to be held in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.


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Sunday Open Thread

I hope that you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

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U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson Funeral Service

U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was among four American service members killed in Niger earlier this month, was laid to rest in his home state of Florida on Saturday.

A flag-covered coffin holding Johnson’s remains was carried into South Florida’s Christ The Rock Church for a private funeral service Saturday morning. American flags flew at half-staff across the Sunshine State as Johnson’s body was then taken to Hollywood Memorial Gardens where he was buried.

An emotional public viewing for Johnson, 25, was held the previous night at the church in Cooper City, where gospel music filled the room while loved ones and strangers cried, prayed and hugged each other. His family, wearing red shirts, sat in the front row, a short distance from his closed casket, flanked by a heart-shaped wreath made of red roses.

Posted in Current Events, Memorial, News, Niger, Open Thread, Photos | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Saturday Open Thread

I hope that you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.


The New Black Panther Trailer Dropped this week.



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Friday Open Thread | 44 Returns to Campaign Mode

Yesterday was exhausting. So, I will take joy wherever it springs forth…and, yesterday, 44 came to campaign in Virginia and New Jersey.

Tell it 44!!

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Posted in Open Thread, Politics, President Obama | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments