Albert’s home is the headquarters of The People Love People House of God. His ministry is idiosyncratic, an eclectic mix of the Old and New Testament, and most of the church is made up of family members.  Albert is a Christian, but belongs to no organized denomination. He observes the Sabbath from Friday night to Saturday sundown, keeps Kosher, and runs an all day service on Saturday. He seats himself behind a battered drum, chanting and preaching redemption, offering solutions to what he sees as the plight of the Black man.

Albert’s art is an extension of his ministry and personal beliefs. “I have a message.  It burns in me like fire.”  What is his message?  “We need to see the true root of all our troubles.  The fault does not lie in American history, not in slavery times or any other injustice, but way back in antiquity.  Ethiopia sinned; it’s in the Bible.  We committed atrocities in God’s eyes.   And this is my mission now, to make my people fall down on their knees and beg His forgiveness.” Due to past sins, he feels God has punished Black men with lust and an “uncontrollable sexual appetite.” In many of his paintings and in his sermons, Albert often accuses the Black community of self-oppression, a disregard of responsibility, and weakness for sexual gratification. 

White collectors and fellow painters may revere him, but many Blacks dismiss him as being a religious fanatic, a lunatic, or an “Uncle Tom.”  He suffers their scorn without anger.  “Every prophet is crazy to most people.  If he wasn’t, there would be no need to prophesy.”  Are Albert’s beliefs the result of growing up in the South, his religious upbringing, and the influence of racism in America?  Could they be his personal rationalizations concerning his past behavior in his quest for self-redemption?  Or might they be partially based on his clientele that consists mostly of White patrons, who may find solace in art that absolves them from past racial guilt? 


Copyright 2009 Tesseract Fillms