Jerry Ross Painting Exhibit at Wayne Morse US Courthouse
April 27 • 10:00 am - June 1 • 5:00 pm• Free
Jerry Ross oil painting exhibit has been extended an additional month at the US Courthouse. Paintings are a mix of portraits, landscapes, and figurative work. Of particular note is the “Portrait of Martin Sostre” who passed away in 2015. Sostre was perhaps the most important political prisoner in the US who significantly advanced prisoner rights while held in solitary confinement. Sostre’s case was adopted by Amnesty International because Sostre was a bookseller. Sostre was arrested by FBI, State, and local police in his Afro-Asian Bookstore in Buffalo, NY in 1967. He was a target for his selling of radical books like Mao’s “Little Red Book” and the autobiography of Ho Chi Minh. A “prisoner of conscience”, Sostre’s cause was supported by leading intellectuals like Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov. After the frame up unravelled years later, Sostre was pardoned by NY Governor Carey and a key witness recanted his testimony that be purchased heroin from Sostre. The NY State trooper who supplied the supposedly purchased packet of heroin was himself caught stealing drugs from the police evidence locker. It became clear that Sostre was target of J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTEL program. When Ross was a student at the University of Buffalo, he founded the Martin Sostre Defense Committee and travelled to Munich seeking assistance from Amnesty International.