- Bonita Amenta Cutliff
TXSU Legends :: Abe Washington on Hannah Hall Mural
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to see my mural again and I am pleased to have you all here to share this moment with me". After over 50 years Texas Southern University Art Alumni, Abe Washington returned with 3 generations of his family in tow, on his 94th birthday to see a mural he finished August 15, 1956. "At that time black people were being intimated by the Klu Klux Klan and at the same time you had missionaries coming to aid the African diaspora populations through education. They were teaching people, as a way to relive the pain that people were going through.
"I started out working on this as just an assignment - to make a grade in class, over time as I collected all that I knew of the history of African people after slavery - I began to develop this mural. This was the life of a negro, all they were valued for was their work, being able to produce and earn a living." Booker T. Washington's quote "Cast down your buckets were you are" is incorporated into the mural. Booker spoke out about the lack of quality in the of life of the negro and his ideas brought him an audience, in the mural he is surrounded by a group of young people developing their educational skills which was a common sight in these times. "I think I got an A in this course. I am proud because I illustrated the story well - the story of black people's ambition in the south and the things that influenced their lives. When you look at the news today it seems like whatever progress was made, is somewhat diminished by all the things that are going on now. Well, I hope that we can all keep our eyes on the prize." - Abe Washington in 2015