Student Response:
Originally posted July 20, 2020 on the 'Student Perspectives on the Art Collection' blog. "With a national election right around the corner and primaries well underway, news outlets have been sharing footage of giant lines, stretching multiple blocks outside voting places in many states. Individual voters share that they've had to wait upwards of five hours just to get inside their polling place. Voter suppression has never been completely resolved in our country, decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. Some states continue to make gradual progress through reforms that push for voting by mail (absentee ballots). Similar to Donaldson’s work, the Black Lives Matter movement used their platform to elevate Black candidates running for office. Most notably, Charles Booker in the race for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in Kentucky currently held Republican Mitch McConnell. Booker's campaign gained unprecedented momentum in its final weeks due to his unabashed support of protests and calls for reform. Throughout the past month, I’ve been walking in protests throughout our city of Grand Rapids with the Black Lives Matter movement, which has given me space to reflect and feel deeply with my community. In our current state of pandemic, there has been a tendency for writers to reach for the positive silver lining at the end of their articles; as if a line in black ink at the end of a New York Times article will be the quote that propels us through what feels like the longest year of our lives. The hard truth is that the reality and discomfort of this struggle has long preceded this moment. Others, more knowledgable than I, have fought for Civil Rights for Black Americans for a long time, in wave after wave of resurgence, voices begging to be heard as they crash against the immovable shore. If there would be a silver lining in this story, it would be that people keep marching. Stories like Ivanhoe Donaldson's continue to echo and inspire; more Charles Bookers will continue to run for office—and will eventually win. People who are committed to change continue to fight against evil and injustice and maybe this 'longest year ever' will actually produce growth and change. That idea feels hopeful to me." - Erin Harshberger, English and Education major, Political Science minor, GVSU Class of 2021;Originally posted July 20, 2020 on the 'Student Perspectives on the Art Collection' blog. "With a national election right around the corner and primaries well underway, news outlets have been sharing footage of giant lines, stretching multiple blocks outside voting places in many states. Individual voters share that they've had to wait upwards of five hours just to get inside their polling place. Voter suppression has never been completely resolved in our country, decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. Some states continue to make gradual progress through reforms that push for voting by mail (absentee ballots). Similar to Donaldson’s work, the Black Lives Matter movement used their platform to elevate Black candidates running for office. Most notably, Charles Booker in the race for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in Kentucky currently held Republican Mitch McConnell. Booker's campaign gained unprecedented momentum in its final weeks due to his unabashed support of protests and calls for reform. Throughout the past month, I’ve been walking in protests throughout our city of Grand Rapids with the Black Lives Matter movement, which has given me space to reflect and feel deeply with my community. In our current state of pandemic, there has been a tendency for writers to reach for the positive silver lining at the end of their articles; as if a line in black ink at the end of a New York Times article will be the quote that propels us through what feels like the longest year of our lives. The hard truth is that the reality and discomfort of this struggle has long preceded this moment. Others, more knowledgable than I, have fought for Civil Rights for Black Americans for a long time, in wave after wave of resurgence, voices begging to be heard as they crash against the immovable shore. If there would be a silver lining in this story, it would be that people keep marching. Stories like Ivanhoe Donaldson's continue to echo and inspire; more Charles Bookers will continue to run for office—and will eventually win. People who are committed to change continue to fight against evil and injustice and maybe this 'longest year ever' will actually produce growth and change. That idea feels hopeful to me." - Erin Harshberger, English and Education major, Political Science minor, GVSU Class of 2021
Current Location:
Wall Galleries -> Eberhard Center Gallery (GVSU PEW Campus)
Location Notes:
Eberhard Center Gallery, GVSU Pew Campus

Ivanhoe Donaldson (For Look Magazine)

Artwork
Medium:
Photographic Print
Date:
1965
Dimensions:
Artworks - Height: 8" Width: 10"
Description:
A black and white photo of a man at a desk that is completely covered in papers and books, talking on the phone. There is a bulletin board behind him on the wall on the left and two pictures on the wall to the right.
Historical Context:
Ivanhoe Donaldson was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, championing voting and registration rights for Black Americans. In young adulthood, Donaldson attended Michigan State University’s engineering program and during this time he was involved in the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) and driving car loads of food and medical supplies that he and his peers gathered to disperse through communities down South who were in economic crisis. While a student, Malcolm X visited the East Lansing campus and his message about political self-determinism and Black nationalism and was a personal launching point for Donaldson. After being arrested for drug trafficking on another drive down to Mississippi to donate resources (like ibuprofen, which was what the charge was for), he devoted himself to public service and the Movement. Donaldson then became a field secretary for SNCC and remained apart of the organization, after its adoption of the Black Power movement under Stokely Carmichael’s leadership in 1966. Later in his career, as Director of SNCC’s New York office, he started working on political campaigns to get Black leaders into integral positions of power in the United States government. He was fantastically successful on several occasions, but most notably was Marion Barry’s campaign to become mayor of Washington D.C.—who went on to serve two terms.