Rebecca Zorach teaches and writes on early modern European art (15th-17th century), contemporary activist art, and art of the 1960s and 1970s at Northwestern University. Particular interests include print media, feminist and queer theory, theory of representation, and the multiple intersections of art and politics.
Don McIlvaine painted this mural in 1969, while he was director of the Conservative Vice Lords’ art center Art & Soul, to represent the disenfranchised young people he worked with. While he began with the idea of black youth moving “into the mainstream,” as the title suggests, by the time he completed it he had turned it into a portrait of anger and frustration at the slow progress of social change.
The Conservative Vice Lords (CVL) were leaders of the Vice Lords who had reinvented the street gang as a community development organization.