Anna Alston home, Charles Alston birthplace 

Bearden biographical
416 W. 3rd St.
St. Michael and All Angels' church records show that Anna Alston was a witness at Romare Bearden's baptism. Romare was close friends with two of her children, Rousmanière and Charles Alston. Rousmanère recalled how Romare's great-grandmother Rosa would bake a loaf of bread, take a shortcut through the alley between their homes, "and hand it to me through our back window."

Widow of Reverend Primus Alston, Anna married Romare's Uncle Harry Pierce Bearden -- who had lived in the same house as Romare in the Kennedys' home -- in 1913. The Alston family were also part of the Great Migration, moving to New York City in 1913.

Charles Alston became a noted artist and mentor in Harlem.  He served as director of the Harlem Art Workshop at the 135 Street Public Library during the 1930s, where one of his star students was Jacob Lawrence.

© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Romare surrounded by great-grandparents H. B. and Rosa Kennedy; standing, from left, Aunt Anna Alston, parents Bessye and Howard Bearden, and grandmother Cattie Kennedy, c. 1917.

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Works Cited:

Schwartzman, Myron. Romare Bearden: His Life and Art. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1990. Print.