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Arthur Flowers performs at ArtRage

ArtRage, 505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13203

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African American writer, griot and blues singer Arthur Flowers and Indian scroll painter Manu Chitrakar have combined their very distinctive storytelling traditions in an extraordinary literary jam session culminating in a book titled, I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr. The book was written by Arthur Flowers and illustrated by Manu Chitrakar.

Arthur will be at ArtRage to perform this story in musical prose, based on griot oral storytelling traditions, bringing his own perspective to the events he describes. This graphic narrative brings together two diverse yet dramatic traditions of storytelling and Arthur will use the original scroll created by Manu Chitrakar, that carries the tale into the vivid idiom of Patua art, turning King’s historic journey into a truly universal legacy. As we see each panel unfurl, we find that I See the Promised Land traverses the milestones of Martin Luther King Jr.’s short life, ministry, and journey as only Arthur Flowers can tell it—replete with destiny and the human condition.The engaging text describes the apartheid South in Martin Luther King’s time, which in many ways was not very different from the early days of slavery. Included are descriptions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott; the formation of civil rights groups; mass movements against segregation, such as the Albany Movement and the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, after which King became black America’s acknowledged leader; and the influence on King of Gandhi, with his nonviolent approach to resistance. We are told about King’s personal struggles as well as the political challenges he faced with the rise of Malcolm X and Black Power. Flowers’ text concludes with a brief look at his legacy.

Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored by: South Asia Center, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
Part of the Ray Smith Symposium—in conjunction with Syracuse Symposium

For more information contact Emera Bridger Wilson at 

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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.