Texas A&M Professor & Artist Reflects On Lincoln

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Texas A&M Professor Robert Schiffhauer can sum up his exhibit in one sentence. "These are all people who put their life on the line to promote social justice and racial equality." said Schiffhauer.

Schiffhauer's exhibit at the Brazos Valley African American Museum has special meaning this year.

Every one of his drawings deals with the abolitionists, Abraham Lincoln, and the reconstructors of our nation in what he calls "The New Birth Of Freedom".

A fitting tribute to those who helped outlaw slavery on this, the 200th anniversary of President Lincoln's birth.

"I think they're unsung heroes and I want to call attention to them. I want people to know about them and the sacrifices they made for us. Not just in this country but in all the countries that care about liberty and injustice." said Schiffhauer.

Keeping the past alive and using history as a perspective is one of Robert's biggest goals. In a time of uncertainty for our country, he wants everyone to remember the past and not make the same mistakes others have.

"As much as we might be a democracy today, there's always threats from the extreme left or the extreme right. We could become communist or fascist. It's happened to a lot of countries." said Schiffhauer.

One of Schiffhauer's drawings focuses on Mathew Gaines. A Texas Senator from 1870-1874, the former slave had a part in forming Texas A&M University.

"It's unfortunate but we don't even know about him at Texas A&M. Something needs to be done to honor him." believes Schiffhauer.

In the meantime, Gaines' picture is on the wall at the museum, a place where Schiffhauer wants everyone to come together as one.

"This is one of the best places here in town to promote community. It's what Lincoln was all about. We should all come together. Not as enemies but as friends. In his own words." said Schiffhauer.

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