“I, Too, Am American” Tells the Story of American Struggle Through Art

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  It’s all the talk on cable news and social media.

Professional football players are 'taking a knee' during the national anthem amidst a national discussion over equality, unity and division among Americans.

It's just the latest chapter in a story told time and time again in our history, marginalized groups speaking out against perceived injustice.

Right now, the work of others who've reacted to those struggles through art are on display at the Des Moines Art Center.

"I, Too, Am American" is a reminder of how artists and the communities responded to troubling times in U.S. history.

“I like the way it progressed from slavery on up through the AIDS epidemic," Scott Berger said.

A sure reminder that’s captured by Tilly Woodwards paintings of Iowans affected by HIV and AIDS during the aids in the 90's.

“The art is just amazing in and of its self if you want to ignore the message maybe you can but you have to be stuck by the amazing art," Des Moines resident Ilene Savitt said.

Other pictures show a black servants journey to equality, and two men hugging during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

What was a message of equality then, "It might not seem radical today but for the time it was radical because of what was going on in the country with the aids crisis," Curator Jared Ledesma said.

Looks different today. "I think regardless I think all of them do take that stance like taking a knee during a national anthem," Ledesma said.

In time the exhibition will change and so will how people get their message across, but for now I, Too, Am American resonates with people who see it.

The exhibition will be on display until the end of November.