A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the by Harry Henderson, Romare Bearden

By Harry Henderson, Romare Bearden

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Unfortunately, there are other documents in Catholic records that many was the inspired, shaping leader of the African Methodist Episcopal church, Abner Coker was a member of the eighteen-man group that founded the Even AME lieve to undermine this possibility. ' "^^ In first reinforced saw the two — both are painted be Daniel and Abner Coker, Johnston was The dominant a it be- does not nec- member of religion of the French their West In- was Catholicism. Records of Joshua Johnston as a Catholic would tend to support the McCurdy story that the artist came from the West Indies, although that story did not indicate that he was of African descent.

Far as Father Beeston was concerned, a period of twenty-five years and with private information that might be available Joshua Johnston was white; so were their children. ''^ Can it who was not the portrait the case, Joshua Johnston is trait Weekley's specula- be that the cathedral records refer to Joshua Johnston is in further of Catholicism in the Johnston portraits the eyes are lidded, but not the case in this portrait. Moreover, the Archa benign fashion, a and the skin tones are warmer than those and considered it the work of Jeremiah in Paul, not of Father Beeston's artist?

They might well have been painted in connection with the founding or some anniversary art of the African Bethel church. more Certainly research that these portraits are needed to document is of the Cokers. One difficulty that Daniel Coker, losing faith in the possibility is of abolishing slavery in this country, led ninety African- Americans to Liberia and then to Sierra Leone. How- American Colonization Society, replaced him with new agents, and his effort failed. Coker later established a church in Freetown, where ever, his sponsor, the he died in 1846.

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