No one African American artist contributed more work to be used as illustrations for book jackets or record sleeves than Charles White. His extraordinary drawings, resonating as they did with incredible levels of sensitivity, empathy, creativity and technical skill, made White something of a go-to artist for a number of publishers. White's work was used to illustrate the cover of Great Negro Americans Volume One, a spoken word record issued in 1970.
The 1960s and 70s were a heyday for African American spoken word records, and a large number of records such as this one were issued, primarily aimed at juvenile audiences. The people behind the record were Alan Sands and Bruce W. Marcus and the production itself consisted of dramatised biographical summaries of leading African American figures in American History, rendered by Frederick O'Neal and Hilda Simms. The records personalities included Mary McLeod Bethine, Jesse Owens, Louis Armstrong, A Philip Randolph, and Marian Anderson.
Nearly two decades after Charles White's "Dawn of a New Tomorrow" was used on the covers of journals such as Masses & Mainstream (February, 1953, Vol. 6, No. 2), the evocative, poetic drawing was used on the cover of this recording, though the drawing was uncredited on the cover or the back of the record sleeve.
This record was formerly the property of Onondaga County Public Library.
Though previously identified as 'Dawn of a New Tomorrow', within the publication (p. 53) Images of Dignity: The Drawings of Charles White, Ward Ritchie Press, 1967, the work on the record cover is identified as 'Hope', Oil, 1952 (p. 53)