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American School , Portrait of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1908-1972), watercolor on paper, 10" x 7"
Estimate: $1,500.00 - $2,000.00
Portrait of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1908-1972)
watercolor on paper
c.1929. Signed indistinctly.
American politician and pastor who represented Harlem, New York City, in the House of Representatives. He was the first person in New York of African-American descent elected to Congress.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was born in New Haven, Connecticut into a wealthy household. His father was a prominent Baptist minister who worked his way out of poverty in Virginia. After completing his education at Colgate and Columbia Universities, he began assisting his father with charitable services at the church and as a preacher. By 1938, he succeeded him as pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
During the Great Depression, he became a prominent Civil Rights leader in Harlem, organizing the community to bring political pressure on major businesses to hire black employees at professional levels. In 1941, Powell was elected to the New York City Council as the city's first black council representative.
In 1944, Powell ran on a platform of civil rights for African Americans: support for "fair employment practices, and a ban on poll taxes and lynching," and was elected as a Democrat to represent the Congressional District that included Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the first black Congressman from New York State and the first in the Post-Reconstruction Era from any Northern state other than Illinois.
10" x 7"