From Slave to President
After the election of President Barack Obama, Pablo Rodriguez, Jr. was inspired to create a large piece of art that illustrates the incredible journey of Black Americans in the United States and commemorates the election of the first African-American President of the United States. The result of his vision and talent is an extraordinary work, Slave to President. The piece consists of nine panels, 4’ x 2’ each. Donated to the Idaho Black History Museum in December 2009, installation of the piece was completed in January 2010; one year after President Barack Obama took office.
Pablo dedicated this painting “to the men and woman of all colors, past and present, who have long struggled to achieve this day; the day that a Black man is elected to the Presidency of the United States”. Pablo says “This work is of no credit to me. I merely stayed awake late at night to paint in silence while my children slept peacefully. This is vastly different than the experience of the millions of Black American men and women who stayed awake late at night in fear of being lynched for speaking up, stayed awake in fear for their children’s lives. But they also stayed awake with high inspiration for a better generation. What took me nine months to paint took more than 400 years for African Americans to go from Slave to President.”