Black Simon Helps Suffering Jesus

Field review by the editors.

Huntsville, Alabama

Simon of Cyrene is briefly mentioned in the Bible as the man who helped haul Jesus's cross to Calvary hill. Cyrene was the name of a Greek colony in North Africa, and Simon was traditionally depicted in art as white. But in the latter half of the 20th century he began to appear more frequently as a black man (Sidney Poitier played him in 1965's The Greatest Story Ever Told). He was thus an ideal subject for an inspiring sculpture on the grounds of Oakwood University, a historically African-American, Seventh-Day Adventist college.

Titled "Monument to Service," the sculpture by Alan Collins features a larger-than-life and surprisingly cheerful Simon giving a hands-up to an exhausted Jesus (The Gospels suggest that Simon's service was in fact not voluntary).

According to an accompanying plaque, the bronze sculpture illustrates Oakwood's mission "of preparing leaders in service for God and humanity." It was unveiled in 2005.

Black Simon Helps Suffering Jesus

Address:
College Drive, Huntsville, AL
Directions:
In the center of the quad of Oakwood University, just south of College Drive.
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