STARKVILLE — Children across the country will understand Juneteenth better thanks to the drawings of a Mississippi State University art professor.
Alex Bostic, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Art, illustrated the 32-page children’s book “Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem,” in which poet and activist Sojourner Kincaid Rolle tells the story of the last slaves in Galveston, Texas. , learning of their freedom in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth became the newest U.S. federal holiday in 2021.
“I’m lucky to have this opportunity. It resonates with some things I want to do with historical black images,” he said. “This book comes out at a time when it is becoming increasingly important to tell these stories. I want my children and grandchildren to know these stories and historical facts.
Bostic’s 40-year career spans a variety of creative roles, from Hallmark greeting card writer to movie poster designer. He joined the MSU faculty 11 years ago. Her art focuses on human form and experience, and the promotion of historical black figures.
This year, her painting “Edmonia Lewis” is featured on the Edmonia Lewis Commemorative Forever stamp, the 45th stamp in the US Postal Service’s Black Heritage series. Bostic’s work will also be featured in ‘Imprinted: Illustrating Race’, a curated exhibition of over 100 works that examine how illustrations have shaped attitudes towards race and culture, on display until October at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. , Massachusetts.
Locally, the Gumtree Art Museum in Tupelo will feature many of Bostic’s portraits in July. An opening reception will be held at 5:00 p.m. on July 15.
Published by Union Square Kids in May, “Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem” is available at most major online retailers and select bookstores.