In recognition of Black History Month, the Museum of Missouri Military History is hosting the "Learning to Read, a Soldier's Story" exhibit at the Ike Skelton Training Site this month. The display features six paintings portraying what it was like for black soldiers learning to read during the Civil War.
"This exhibition is about life lessons, a celebration of family, military service, the importance of a good education and a tribute to the men of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Infantry," said Essex Garner, a Lincoln University professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department and Missouri National Guard retiree.
Garner worked with a select group of volunteers, photographed in reproduction period uniforms and painted on canvas by the artist. Two of the subjects who volunteered to participate, Master Sgt. Leo Lewis and Sgt. Bruce Shockley, are Missouri Army National Guard members who work full-time at ISTS.