together in our island neighbor ninety miles south of Florida. While Porter may not have set out consciously to center the work on an historical episode in the manners and customs of the Cuban people, he, nonetheless, imbued the work with a sense of history and made an important statement about life in a nonsegregated society, which was unlike that in which he was accustomed to living in the United States.

     After 1946, Porter continued to reflect the historical and social customs of people in his work wherever he chose to paint over the period of the next twenty or so years of his life. He traveled to East and West Africa, to Brazil and to Mexico, in search of information that later manifested itself in his writings on African survivals in the New World. Along the way, a series of paintings evolved, as did in the case of the twenty-four or more oils that Porter created during the 1963-64 school year. He had set out to validate his belief that an uncommon number of artifacts, buildings, and visual objects, along with the proper accommodating social and cultural customs, were still undiscovered in Brazil, Haiti, and Cuba, all of which would add measurably to what he, in his own scholarly way, referred to as the "cultural strivings and visual mutations" left behind by the trail that Black people made during their forced migration to the Americas. Many of Porterís notes that would have validated his fervent belief that persons of African ancestry had contributed significantly to the fine arts traditions beyond the acknowledged area of music remain to this day unpublished. These notes constitute an important body of research of the kind that has not been undertaken by more than a handful of competent scholars in

 

 

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HUAN 7 
February 2001