All of Us Movement
American Gothic X - Longsleeve
AMERICAN GOTHIC X
Social justice icons Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama shared the same birthday (May 19) and a remarkable friendship. In 2018, artists Frank Chi and Eric Uhlir brought that friendship to life in this portrait, titled “American Gothic X.”
The painting illustrates the summer of 1964. A Japanese delegation of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) arrived in New York for a peace mission - and Yuri invited Malcolm to her residence at the Manhattanville Projects in Harlem (the building in the background) to speak to them. When he arrived, Malcolm captivated the crowd. He held court and connected identities and experiences. He talked about how “You have been scarred by the atom bomb. You just saw that we have also been scarred. The bomb that hit us was racism.”
Throughout their friendship, Yuri and Malcolm challenged each other as much as they supported each other: on integration vs. Black separatism, on religion, on internationalism. He supported the Hibakusha, and she was the first non-Black member of the Republic of New Afrika, Malcolm’s vision for the South. When he was murdered, Yuri was there. As Malcolm laid dying, she was the one who held him. In the ‘80s, after Yuri fought for reparations for Japanese-American Incarceration victims, reporters asked her what she thought should happen next. She didn’t miss a beat: reparations for Black America.
In the painting, Malcolm wears an origami lapel - the symbol of the Hibakusha. On her dress, Yuri wears a Republic of New Afrika flag. Between them is a bullhorn, symbolizing the spirit of activism that brought them together.
100% preshrunk cotton
Set-in rib collar with shoulder-to-shoulder taping
Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
- Color: Black
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