On April 28, 1979, members of Alpha
Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated,
a national public service sorority founded at Howard
University in 1913, unveiled a sculpture in the Valley
Mall at 3:15 p.m. to honor its founders.
Called "Fortitude," the
steel-fabricated sculpture, created by James King,
stands 12 feet and 6 inches in height and has an
amazing 12 feet arm to arm span. The sculpture symbolizes
the attributes of strength, courage, hope, wisdom,
beauty and femininity as depicted by the 22 founders
of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
The art expression is sculpted in corten steel. The metal
grows in beauty with age and through the process of oxidization,
the color changes from silver to a rustic red-orange
to a dark rich bronze tone. The total process can take
about two to three years.
The figure is shown pushing forward as the tension of
her thighs portrays strength. Her outreached hand denotes
receiving of love and the giving of oneself to others.
Her facial features depict courage and determination.
Her color tone represents the glorious gradations of
pigmentations of the Black woman. The total form not
only denotes fortitude but stands to inspire women, in
particular Black women, to move forcefully to meet the
challenges of life.
The sculptor James King is one of the nation's most gifted
sculptors. He was born in Chicago and was educated at
a number of elite universities around the world, including
The Art Institute of Chicago, Goethe Institute and The
University of Vienna.
Aeja O. Washington
The Hilltop, Tuesday,
October 26, 2004