"NAC Artist/Director John Riddle unveiling his sculpture titled, 'Expelled because of their color,' at the State Capitol which was commissioned by the Black Caucus of the Georgia General Assembly."--from Jim Alexander's annotations. Neighborhood Arts Center director and recognized visual artist John Riddle unveils his sculpture, "Expelled because of their color," for a crowd of legislators and guests on the Senate's side of the lawn of the Georgia State Capitol in May 1982. In 1976, the Legislative Black Caucus commissioned John Riddle to create a statue as part of the United States national bicentennial celebration. Riddle's work was financed with private funds from leaders of the Black Caucus of the Georgia General Assembly. The statue honored thirty-eight African Americans who were elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1868, but were prohibited from assuming office and expelled due to their race, on the rationale that the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution did not specify that African Americans could hold public office. Riddle's completed sculpture was permanently placed on the lawn of the Georgia State Capitol. It was six-and-one-half-feet tall, and depicted a detailed history of African Americans in the United States, beginning with slavery, and ending with an African American politician finally coming to power. John Riddle was educated in fine arts at the Los Angeles City College, the California State College at Los Angeles, and the California State University at Los Angeles. Before joining the Neighborhood Arts Center as director in 1976, he taught high school and worked as both a freelance artist and a veterans' counselor in Atlanta. He left the Neighborhood Arts Center in 1981 and became assistant director of the Atlanta Civic Center in 1984. He died in March 2002. Title provided by Jim Alexander.
Cite as: The unveiling. Neighborhood Arts Center photographs series. Jim Alexander collection. Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.
Neighborhood Arts Center photographs series. Jim Alexander collection. Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.