Library officials plan to invite Walker to speak on the painting, the importance of artistic freedom and on the influence of black artists in today’s society.
“The library should be a safe harbor for controversies of all types, and those controversies can be dealt with in the context of what is known about art, about literature, democracy and freedom,” said library trustee Clement A. Price. “There’s no better venue in Newark where such a powerful and potential controversial drawing should be mounted.”
Price notes that discussing the black experience in America can be a delicate issue.
“Should we be depicted sentimentally, romantically?,” he said. “Should some of the grotesque realities be depicted in art or movies?”