Alma Woodsey Thomas: "A cultured person is the highest stage of the human being."

I am full today. My spirit is restored and renewed by the wealth of beauty that my people possess. I knew that my journey of discovering Black artists would bring about a wealth of knowledge and more appreciation for beautiful art. However, I did not realize how emotional the trek will be. Many of the artists we have talked about so far saw themselves as human beings who had something to say about the world around them. These artists used the gifts to create pieces that force us to decide the world as presented on canvas or a sculpture. Art makes us confront our inhumanity by exposing evil, righteousness, degradation, despotism, faith, and love.

I honor Alma Woodsey Thomas today. Her contributions to the elevation of man are surprisingly innocent yet powerful.

Ms. Thomas's artistic career launched when most people start planning their retirement. When most people are reviewing their life's mistakes and contributions and life's end, Ms. Thomas began a course to spread cheer and optimism for the world.

According to the White House article by Lina Mann, in an interview toward the end of her life, she was asked if she thought of herself as a Black artist. She responded:

No, I do not. I am a painter. I am an American. I've been here for at least three or four generations. When I was in the South, that was segregated. When I came to Washington, that was segregated. And New York-that was segregated. But I always thought the reason was ignorance. I thought myself superior and kept on going. Culture is sensitivity to beauty. And a cultured person is the highest stage of the human being. If everybody were cultured we would have no wars or disturbance. There would be peace in the world.

Thank you, Alma Thomas, for "never bother[ing to] painting the ugly things in life."

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