Art for Social Justice

Poster by Ricardo Levins Morales showing people sleeping in prison, titled Goodnight Moon.

Poster by Ricardo Levins Morales . 

I discovered this powerful image in the Barn Gallery at Pendle Hill, the Quaker conference, study and retreat center where I used to work, where I will be leading a writing workshop this summer, and where the poster is part of a show on display from May through July, 2016.  The artist is Ricardo Levins Morales, and I was grateful to learn that his website gave me permission to use the “Goodnight Moon” image on my own site.  Clicking on the image will take you to his site, with information about how to purchase prints, and pictures of his many other striking works of art for social justice.

I called this blog Becky&Books because I wanted every post to be, one way or another, connected to books. One connection here is obvious, as the image immediately evokes the cover, by Clement Hurd, of the classic bedtime story by Margaret Wise Brown. But there is another important connection for me. My next picture book, scheduled for publication by January 2017, is called Far Apart, Close in Heart and subtitled Being a Family When A Loved One Is Incarcerated.  And it is written for those “more than two million children who go to bed each night with at least one parent incarcerated” that Ricardo Levins Morales speaks of. Far Apart, Close in Heart is a story that I hope will offer the children (and adults) who read it courage, hope,  a sense that they are not alone in their experiences, and an awareness that they can act for change. It isn’t a treatise or a manifesto. Yet I’m hoping that, in its own way, it too will serve as art for social justice.

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