Billy Penn on An Immigrant Alphabet

Billy Penn: Immigrant Artwork Joins the Rizzo Statue at Philly’s Center

September 12, 2017 | Danya Henninger, Billy Penn

Danya Henninger of Billy Penn spent time with artist Wendy Ewald and several Northeast High School students to discuss An Immigrant Alphabet

This fall, if you look past the statue of Frank Rizzo standing guard in front of Philly’s Municipal Services Building, you’ll catch a glimpse of a poster featuring a giant American flag.

The poster is not an invitation to an Army recruitment meeting, nor one that urges you to vote in the next election. It’s not in defense of the Rizzo statue at all. Instead, it’s an image of the flag wrapped around a teenage girl from Uzbekistan, who’s drawing the cloth around her like a red-white-and-blue security blanket while looking pensively at its stars and stripes.

Next to the girl is a word, standing out in bright scarlet against an azure background: “America.”

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