Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit
Strange Fruit, Oil and Cyanotype of Canvas, 36″ x 24″

 

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Ticket to Freedom

The Underground Railroad is a well-known aspect of African American history. Slaves would follow the Drinking Gourd (the Big Dipper) as a guide to lead them to the north. Runaways would travel at night and mostly during the winter season so the could avoid slave trackers.

I first heard about the story of Ellen and William Craft on an episode of The Dollop Podcast . Ellen was the illegitimate child of and was so light skin she was mistaken for white. She and her husband, William, Escape From Slavery by disguising Ellen as a injured white man and William posed as Ellen slave. Though their journey Ellen made sure to only allow William to speak for her so that her voice would not give them away and wrapped herself in bandages to hide in plain sight. The two took multiple trains from Georgia to Philadelphia, successfully escaping to their freedom. Smithsonian magazine wrote an article on their story. I encourage you to read it.  

Follow the Map

The Green Book
Follow the Map, Oil on Canvas, 42″ x 36″

The Negro Motorist Green Book, or Green Books as they were often referred to as, was used by Black families when the needed to travel through segregated America. The Green Book was created by Victor Green, each book had a state by state list of accommodations that would house everyone. My grandmother says she remembers using Green Books as a young child when her family travels. In my copy some states, like Texas, are not even listed in the index.

I noticed that some of the states not listed just so happened to be the same states that Blacks migrated from during the Great Migration (1917-70). On the map I painted those states a dark navy, the mid range blue states are the more neutral states, and the brightest colored states are were Black families migrated to.

Upcoming Posts

To whom it may concern:

I know that not many read this blog, but I just thought I should post this because I can. Anyway, I did an internship this summer, and I though that I would be able to post about my time in DC more. BUT it turns out that I was way busier than I thought. So, be prepared, because in these upcoming weeks/days I will be posting about some of my adventures that I had this summer. So buckle up buttercups, it’s gonna be an interesting ride.

Jacob Lawrence Project Update

Last month, as many people know, was Black History Month. In honor of that I created a Jacob Lawrence Project (link to original post) for my students and y’all, it was a success!

Not only did my student really enjoy the project, they also took the subject matter seriously and asked questions. I am supper proud and excited for how they’ll take the rest of my projects for the remaining school year.

The objective of the lesson was for the class to use pictures from the Civil Rights movement and paint them in in the style of Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. The only catch was that they had to include colored paper somewhere in their project, making it a sort of collage. The results of this project have made me so proud! Here are some pictures of some of the pieces compared to the original.

vote

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Vote

Selma-to-Montgomery

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March

Protest-Civil-Rights

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March with Selma

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King’s Speech

This project was very opened ended and I was amazed by how each student decided to approach there task. It was also interesting to see how some of them started. Most painted parts of the picture first (we used tempera paint and acrylic so it dried fast) and then added the paper. There was a handful of kids that did the complete opposite. I also think that the minimalist aspect of this project really gave them more range to work with. Its always interesting to see what you will get when you tell children to just go for it.

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All the paintings on display in the classroom

 

License and Registration

liscen-and-registration

I hate driving. Every time I get behind the wheel, I don’t know if I will make it home. Every time a new video about police brutality released, I cry and have to work up the courage to drive so I can complete any errands I have.

The purpose of this painting is to make an impersonal piece of personal information personal again. Think about it, when you look at someone’s license if doesn’t really tell you who they are as a person. It doesn’t tell you their interests, their relationships, or their hobbies. A license, or most IDs, give other people a free pass to make assumptions about who you are as a person. For me personally, this can lead to racial profiling that can have life or death consequences.

Since making this painting, it’s actually sparked a lot of conversations with people on campus. I attend what some might considered to be a conservative school. I mean, they try to be accepting and such, but this is Texas. There is only oh so much the school can do. Anyway, the general response has been positive. People on campus seem to like my reasoning for making this painting. I’ve decided to make this a series and do the licenses of different people. I plan on asking one of my best friends and my boyfriend’s mother. If I can do this right, then I can help other minorities like myself show people that we’re really not that different from them.