Art of the Month

Although history has tried to erase them, these women are written on the souls of black women and we know how to wear them.

She refused to be what they demanded she be.  She decided to take some friends with her.

After leading many people to freedom through the underground railroad over 8 years, Araminta Ross, joined the women’s suffrage movement. Later in life she cared for the elderly and evenly established the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged in 1896 on land near her home.

She would hold a mirror up so they could face their hypocrisy.

Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, Ida B Wells grew up to become an investigative journalist who brought notice to lynchings, discrimination and sexism in the United States. She also spoke and wrote about them to the point it caused conflict with many of the white suffrage organizers because she called them on their silence to racist behavior. She was associated with the founding of the NAACP and National Association of Colored Women’s Club.

She wanted to capture the history and soul of a people.

The lives of African Americans in the southern part of the United States was documented by Zora Neale Hurston. She lived through the Harlem Renaissance writing novels, short stories, plays and essays.  She interviewed the last known person captured by slavers and brought to the US on a slave ship, Cudjoe Lewis.

They wanted to put their name of her work. She knew better than that.

Fashion houses saw her as a seamstress, but she opened her own shop and created high fashion for the up and coming in Harlem.  Her clients ranged from Nat King Cole’s wife, Eartha Kitt, Mae West, Josephine Baker, and more.  Zelda Wynn Valdes also created one of the first outfits for the Playboy Bunny.

Marcus Garvey taught them to love their hair and features the way God had given them.

Black is Beautiful grew out of a 1950s movement in New York City when men from the AJASS society started holding fashion shows for African American women who wore their hair natural. It promoted beauty to another standard.

Nope. It Is Not Okay

I don’t want to live in a society where obnoxious uncaring people rule through greed and self ambition. Yes, it probably sounds like a broken record, but I will keep on saying it. And I am going to live like I believe it, which means calling out bad behavior.

I don’t even know how some of this crap gets financed. I Care A Lot is one of those movies. A greedy uncaring woman cons older people out of their assets by gaining guardianship over them. Other greedy people help her place unsuspecting seniors in nursing homes while she takes and sells their property. In this movie she does it to the wrong person.

The acting was very effective because I hated all of the characters. Only reason I finished it was my other sister said to watch it all the way to the end. I literally wanted all of the people in this movie to die, except the older woman who had been tricked out of her property. I was disappointed. Built to be funny, I seldom see the humor in letting the bad guys win. After four years of Trumpism, I am done with bullies.

As a society, if we do not value what the older people have experienced we are doomed to repeat it.

It is time to stop championing stories that let the bad guys win or make them a hero. Clearly, it is wrong to steal someone else’s property. Times are rough when you have to say simple truths. It is wrong to misrepresent them in court. It is not harmless or cute to claim something is true when it is really false.

We have to stop making the person who mistreats others the apple of our eye. These jokers are not good leaders, and usually leave carnage behind. We can’t wait until it happens to us to be against this. It should start with the movies we watch and support. I Care A Lot lacks any redeeming value. Lets not tell stories where abusers win.

Feel The Beat has some redeeming qualities because the obnoxious lead character in this movie actually has a change of heart. In this film, we watch a selfish mean spirited dancer find herself as she tries to use some children to achieve her goals. Again it is an attempt at humor, but some of it is lost in the meanness.

The trouble is we have been through too much to allow any level of meanness.

The movie is upbeat, with fun children, and lots of dancing. We watch young girls in a small town learn to love to dance. The romantic story is weak, but it is more about dancing than romance.

I didn’t feel like I had wasted hours of my life for watching it.

Art of the Month

In 2021 the art series with examine moments in African American history in an attempt to UNERASE our past.

Historically the myth teaches us that Africans were brought to the Americas and taught a skill.  It had us believing that the Africans were untrained labor dependent on European knowledge.

According to Toby Green in Fistful of Shells, when Europeans landed on the African continent, they were amazed at the crops the natives produced. The tribes had been trading in the Middle East for centuries. Europeans recognized the skills how well the tribes cultivated the earth around them.

Instead of creating deals to share information and wealth, these sinister Europeans bartered with tribes to steal the individuals who could cultivate fields on foreign soil. They would take these tribal skills and make themselves rich while depriving the people who did the work any of the wealth or benefit from it.

They would transport people from the African coasts to the Americas and grow crops of sugar, rice, and later cotton, peanuts and so much more.

My Art

My Artwork My Art Pal

I believe stories can be told in many ways and have used a variety of methods to uplift, inform and educate African Americans and peoples of color. I want my work to bring energy and life to a marginalized community to help it become strong and active. I want to do work that gets people to talking about the issues of life.

You can purchase my artwork at the above link.

Thank you.

He Taught Me How

to walk fight and pray. Oh Happy Day is the song that is in my head because I watched Henry Louis Gates new series on the Black Church. I sang. I clapped. I took notes. For those who love the “black” church, this series is an experience that starts the journey at the beginning.

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song chronicles the journey of the African American worship and praise service from its African roots and influences to the debilitating burdens slavery laid on it. Gates told the story of how something that should have sent it into extinction only sharpened its point. Captured Africans were only taught the portions of the bible that allowed them to be obedient servants, with laws put in place that forbid them to read and write. Slave owners did not want them to know the stories of Moses and how the children of Israel were freed. It struck down the lie that slavery was a means of introducing Africans to the gospel, showing that Africans were Christians long before Europeans knew who Christ was.

This documentary series celebrates the :black” church by showing the power of the Holy Spirit in an oppressed people surrendered to him. From the little wooden shacks built by freed slaves to the mega churches of the earlier 20th Century, African Americans not only built houses of worship, but they built communities that took care of each other. They built schools and taught one another to read. This project is filled with many images of these worship services that capture some of their best moments.

It took me back to that little girl sitting on the pew of that one room church house. As I watched the interviewees tell their stories of growing up in those simple times, it reminded me of my mother being in the choir. All the ladies had on the same type of dress, made by one woman in the church. They even posed for a photo after church to remember this special occasion. It was the thing that held them all together.

I learned new things about this church, of which I am a member. I never knew that preachers used to make recordings of three minute sermons. A three minute sermon? That is long gone. I am amused to know that we have been buying sermons for a mighty long time. We have been singing and dancing for that long too. It is one of the things I love about my people. There might not be a lot of hope in our current circumstances, but we know where hope is. We know it starts in community.