We Were Strangers Too by Don Henderson

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Artist Statement

"Just before, during and after the American Civil War a great influx of Irish Catholic refugees entered the United States of America. They were unwanted and unwelcome. They were fleeing hundreds of years of British misrule that led to many revolutions and insurrections. Every generation took up arms against the oppressor. People do not rebel agains good governments and the British government in Ireland was the worst, practicing systematic ethic cleansing, genocide, evictions, penal laws, deportation and colonization were part and parcel of the British plan to rid Ireland of the the Irish Catholic. The potato crop failure in 1840s was a convenient tool to the British plan. They options were to stay and starve or immigrate to America. My great grandfather John McGing chose to take his family to a new life in America. They settle in the Lawrenceville (Irishtown) section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but he died, along with his daughter Brigid, not long after coming to America. His wife Mary and his remaining children, John Jr, Patrick (my grandfather) and his daughter Mary grew up hard and tough, they started work as youngsters and helped their mother keep their home, a row house at 5432 Carnegie Street in Lawrenceville. This photo, taken on Carnegie Street with the Protestant Home for the Incurable in the background by my great great uncle John shows my grandfather Patrick on the right with cousins John and Andy Welsh. The unwelcome Irish came to prove themselves as a asset to America as workers and warriors, educators, doctors, politicians. There was no job they would do, no task they would except as new Americans. They helped build and protect America." - Don Henderson

Don is a Pittsburgh born artist, illustrator, graphic designer, photographer and activist living in New Kensington, PA. Together with his son Shane, the for the design team that is Henderson Graphic Design & Illustration. Always ready to support a good cause, HendersonGDI has been involved in local and national campaigns to support wounded Veterans, children with autism and people suffering with ALS.

About We Were Strangers Too

We Were Strangers Too is a collection of designs showing how diverse and universal the refugee experience truly is. Proceeds support the Anti-Defamation League, the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.

About our Prints

Each poster is hand-printed and handled, to make sure that only the highest quality is offered and sent out. The matte paper and high quality of inks make for a vibrant image which looks great both framed, and au-naturel. Printed in Los Angeles, CA, on Epson Enhanced Matte Paper, heavyweight stock, high color gamut, using Epson UltraChrome HDR ink-jet technology. Framed posters offer the same, museum-quality printed poster, but wrapped in a protective black frame. The frame is lightweight and includes a shatter-resistant acrylite front protector, so it won't break in the mail. International orders may be subject to customs duties & taxes.

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