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Black Historical Figures Ride on Horses to Glory

I was minding my own business when one of my dope readers (@BeautyIntheGeek) emailed me talmbout how she went to the African Festival of the Arts in Chicago yesterday. It’s a great annual event and I usually go to load up on shea butter and to watch people rock their best fake kente cloth (from 87th street). It’s typically a good time all around. I didn’t go this year because I was out of town. BUT my readers are my eyes and ears in these streets.

Anywho, she sent me the picture below, saying she saw it at the Fest, and she had many questions. And so do I.

Black History Painting on Horses

What we got here is Tupac, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Barack and Michelle Obama, Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali and Bob Marley. Riding horses. O________O

I’m confused. I have SO many questions.

Why are all these Black historical figures on horses??? Are they tryna fight racism in the Wild Wild West? WHERE ARE THEY GOING?!?

And, why is Rosa Parks in the back?!? Rosa ain’t refuse to leave her seat for y’all to put her on a horse in the back of the pack. SHE AIN’T! Y’all gon quit acking like Rosa ain’t a VIP when she is! How’d they even determine who’d be up front and who would be in the back? Why is Nelson Mandela all the way in the back like a stepchild? In fact, how’d they determine who’d be in this painting and who’d be left out? None of this makes any sense.

Has Barack Obama ever been in the military? Why is he in military gear? I know he’s commander-in-chief and alla that good stuff but ummm can he put on uniform? And I peep that his military pins are the pan-African colors (green, gold, red) and the U.S. colors (red, white, and blue). And to further drive the fact that Barack is African home, his horse got an Africa medallion on it.

Also, I see how the wives are behind their husbands peeping out like “Yeah, we’re back here too!” But umm… I know they ain’t together no more but why did they leave Winnie Mandela off Nelson’s horse? Did she sass talk him before the painting and get dropped off in a desert? SMH. She stood by her man all these years and can’t even get included in a painting of this magnitude (O_O).

Chile, I don’t know. Did Tyrese draw this, like he did the painting of Malcolm X baptizing Tupac? Did this vision come to someone else in a dream?

Whoever drew this really tried to be deep. REALLY tried. I bet they wept as they painted this, thinking they were paying ultimate homage to Black history. Too bad this painting says nothing besides “I know some famous Black folks” and “I like to draw horses.”

What do y’all think of this painting? Would you put it on your mantle piece and stroke your chin, contemplating those who came before you? Or would you tell Tyrese you’ont have anymore space in your house?

#Shourrout to Dionne for sending me this. She’s on Twitter (@BeautyintheGeek) and check out her tumblr.

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  1. sincerelyalana
    September 5, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I’m not going to lie, I did immediately think about that Tyrese painting of Malcolm X and 2Pac. I wouldn’t put this in my house because I don’t get it. I can see people coming in talking about,

    “what does this painting say to you?”

    I’d be standing there like O_O O_o “I mean when I had see it I said….and I think…” takes painting off wall* -_-

    So no, I can’t get with this painting. What do the horses represent? All I think of is, “look at your man, now back at me, then back at your man, now back at me…I’m on a horse!”

    • sincerelyalana
      September 5, 2011 at 1:16 am


  2. Realiti
    September 5, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Ok my first thoughts were Tyrese been dreaming & painting again and brought that fuckery to the Chi cause he had is special self at the African Fest Saturday trying to read passages from his book. Lawd this painting makes my soul weep, fools stay losing trying to be deep.

  3. Antoinette
    September 5, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Did anyone else notice Martin Luther King side eyeing Tupac over there in the shade? He doesn’t understand why he’s there either. *former lurker*

    • September 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

      LOL! He shole is! Hard too!

  4. Helene
    September 5, 2011 at 3:09 am

    LOL @ Nelson Mandela all the way in the back like a stepchild? Gurl you’re too much!
    But this, right here. Sorry but NO. Just NO.
    Quoting Tamar B., HOTMESS.com!

  5. Ms_Jones74a
    September 5, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Every Black Arts Festival ever. And also, Aaliyah as an angel except she looks more like Alicia Keys and the required Maya Angelou oil painting.

    • Leah
      April 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Don’t forget the borderline inappropriate naked black couple about to have sex. with the man always in the front of the painting.

  6. Sunnahsis
    September 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Now this is some incredible art work but the whole Wild Wild West meets Civil Rights and Civil Rights meets gangsta rap is DEAD TO THE WRONG!!! Why is this artist challenging my ability to make sense out of life? In their head they thought “this is going to be mad deep.” Just how in my head I think I look just like my Zumba instructor…Welp…we can all dream!!! But yall gone leave my baby daddy Tyrese ‘lone, I say leeh’em lone.

  7. September 5, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Is this the Armageddon of the race wars? I mean… what’s going on here?

    I’m mad I missed the fest, too. I had PLANS to and air-thang. Hmph.

  8. Camille
    September 5, 2011 at 10:54 am

    The Studio Museum of Harlem had an exhibit 2 years ago on Black Romanticism – and in the program notes Thelma Golden (Director and Chief Curator) said, “personally, I don’t get it, but it makes people happy – so whatever (I paraphrase). Luvvie, you know the artist was sitting there, WEEPING, at the beauty of the canvas. Straight-up tears. Breathing deep and having to stop on occasion to fall out and praise somebody. I’m with Thelma, though, personally I don’t get it. And what is ‘Pac doing up in there? For real? Tupac and Nelson Mandela…ok.

  9. Caress Lepore
    September 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    So we gonna act like Harriet ain’t got on a Soldier Rag. And why is Cicely Tyson not in this picture? She did not slice the first piece of bread to be left off a horse painting!!

  10. CaspercutieSTL
    September 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Is it a rule that Tupac has to be in a painting if there are one or more black folks? Maybe they are riding to join the Earps and ‘nem at the OK corral.

  11. September 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    WAIT THE FUCKING MINUTE!! Pump the brakes and drive extra slow.. Did I miss a memo? Man black folks just be doing the mostest with the leastest.. How is this relevant at all?

    I’m gonna just riddle off these questions I got here..
    1) Where is Sojourner Truff?
    2) Why does Malcom X look like Ice T? I expected to see Coco riding shotgun…
    3) Tupac really needed to be there doe? I know bandana wearing baby Jesus would disapprove this too.
    4) Can we get the artist’s name?
    5) Michelle O look like she just happy to be there like “Hey yall hey what it do and shit.”
    6) Did Huey P Newton steal Prince’s Raspberry beret and dye it black?



  12. minacakes
    September 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    OOOH that is TIGHT YO! Can I put in a request w/the artist?

    I’d like my group of black people to be an updated version of the scene when Moses is parting the red sea. Instead of water tho, it would be a sea of HATERISM. I’d like mine to have Biggie & Lil Kim, Kirk Franklin, Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Donnie Simpson from the old skool BET, Oprah Gail & Stedman, Omarosa, Eminem, and Soulja Boy.

    how much that gone be? $25? $28?

    • September 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      LMAO!!! I am officially dead.

  13. naturalista88
    September 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Oh Luvvie, I hate that I can’t quit your crazy arse 😀 Maybe there was a secret bougie ninjas meeting & they decided Tupac belongs in every portrait that has a substantial amount of black people in it *lol*.

  14. JunePearl
    September 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve been seeing this painting since I moved to NYC. Bob Marley didn’t sing Buffalo Soldier to Tyrese could paint him looking all un-fahn. We all know Bob was fahn!

    And Antoinette, I’m peeping MLK giving that mean side-eye to 2Pac. Looking like “I got a monument nigga, get off the horse, you ain’t special. I put in a request to be next to Ida B Wells.”

  15. lexi
    September 6, 2011 at 7:37 am

    this is just….why though? but i bet 9 times out of ten it is in every flea market down here in atlanta *smdh*

  16. September 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Y’all that ain’t Betty Shabazz on Malcolm’s horse, that’s his daughter Attallah!! Check out her hat! What’s up with THAT?

    This painting is a hott mess all the way around!

  17. September 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Can we all heave a collected sigh?

    Why does this exist? Hell, I might as well be on this painting with Wendy Williams to my right and Shemar Moore to my left. MIGHTASWELL.

  18. THOR
    January 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

    TUPAC has no business being on a horse, no doubt in the company of those great figures..what are you thinking?

  19. Barbara
    September 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I no I’m late but I just got a view of a repo of this painting Sure,Tupac doesn’t fit but you have to remember this is the artist depiction of great heroes riding to save the black world. I think it shows true Love and admiration to today heroes. We should encourage self expression of pride in all art forms. And stop Hating our people that have the talent and courage to display it

  20. Caravaggio
    July 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm
    • Caravaggio
      July 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      This is the artist of that piece.

      • Deb
        May 23, 2016 at 10:17 am

        Where I purchase it? My husband loves it!