Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla joined Hoboken Middle School students and local officials today at Church Square Park to unveil “I AM 400” The African Journey In America 1619-2019 in honor of Black History Month.
“We must continue to educate ourselves about the African American experience to strive towards a more equal and just society,” said Mayor Bhalla. “I hope ‘I AM 400’ encourages residents and visitors to research and learn more about the inspiring African Americans who have broken barriers and made all our communities a better place.”
The art piece highlights the character, culture, and contributions of African Americans through a collection of 69 paintings created by father and son artists Jerome and Jeromyah Jones.
The paintings in this collection were primarily created from the personal perspectives of the artists meeting and painting pioneers and barrier breakers who are widely known as well as unsung heroes that the world needs to know. Some of the history makers who have autographed their portraits include Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Martin Luther King III, Christine Darden, Stevie Wonder, Arthur Ashe, Serena Williams, Earth, Wind & Fire, General Colin Powell, Lonnie Liston Smith, Dr. Wyatt T. Walker, Alex Haley, Xernona Clayton, Dr. L.D. Britt, and more.
Other paintings are allegorical and historical, showing symbols and motifs that explain the journey of a people on a quest for freedom.
Following Black History Month, “I AM 400” will be donated to the Hoboken Public Library.