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Charles Alston

November 28, 1907 - April 26, 1977


Charles Alston (1907-1977) was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and was an African American painter, muralist, sculptor, teacher, and illustrator, who lived and worked in Harlem. After graduating high school in 1925, he attended Columbia University and turned down a scholarship to Yale. Alston was involved in the Harlem Renaissance and was the first African American supervisor for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project. In 1990 Alston’s bust of Martin Luther King Jr. became the first image of an African American on display at the White House.

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