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Freedom Fighter for Operation Exodus

Calvin Burnett


lithograph on paper

30" x 24"

The title of this print, Freedom Fighter for Operation Exodus,
refers to the community-led program that was established in the
mid-1960s by concerned parents looking to bus African
American children from lower income neighborhoods to recently
desegregated, predominantly white schools in the Boston area.
By 1969, Operation Exodus provided a higher quality education
to nearly 1000 students, which also included access to tutoring,
textbooks, counseling services, and vocational training programs
within the community.

Burnett, an African American artist and educator, made this print
to raise funds in support of the initiative. At the time he made this
lithograph he was an art professor at his alma mater, the
Massachusetts College of Art. His teachings and theories on
color can often be read as a poignant social commentary of the
times: “…there is no such thing as a good color or bad color or a
correct color combination; it's only what you're trying to express
with the color and what it's all about."


Gift of Mr. John Horne