"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Thousands of our viewers turned out for the First Night Celebration a few weeks ago at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte.
And you may have wondered, "Just who WAS Romare Bearden?"
Mr. Bearden was an outstanding artist and writer of the 20th century.
He was born right here in Charlotte in 1911, but moved as a young child to New York City.
He worked in a variety of media, notably oil paintings, collages, and even cartoons.
While he may have pursued his career up north, Mr. Bearden never forgot his southern roots.
Indeed, his early work reflected the lives and trials of African-Americans living in the South.
His works have been featured at various museums within the Queen City.
Mr. Bearden also wrote or co-wrote a number of books, and was even a songwriter, specializing in jazz music.
A most gracious man, he encouraged and financially supported emerging young artists as they pursued their dreams.
In 1987, the year before his death, Mr. Bearden was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
We're proud to have Romare Bearden as a native Charlottean.
As we kick off Black History Month, we encourage you to enjoy the park named after him and to savor any of the works of this outstanding talent.