One Sunday morning I decided to take a break from my Covid-19 quarantine and take a car ride. While riding down Mt Vernon Avenue, I saw a sign that said, “Affirm Black Life”. I thought I saw an arrow, so I decided to park my car to investigate.
I think that murals are my way of self-expression and protest. I have a new born; so, I’m not on the front lines. This is my way of having a voice in the fight. My message: is our goal is peace and equality.
I love the splash of color! In my opinion, it looks much better than seeing plywood all over downtown. It also allows residents and visitors to be exposed to and appreciate some of the talent of the artists who live in the area.
I love watching artists collaborate and create!
After the widespread access of videos showing horrific police brutality, the employees of Martini’s asked me to come down and leave a positive message for the community not only express grief, but also to provide comfort and solace.
I love seeing artists create live. One of my favorite festivals was cancelled (Columbus Arts Festival). I know, I know they had virtual activities. But, to me it’s not the same. I love being able to interact with the artists.
In my opinion this work represents unity. Just by viewing the artists pictures it is obvious that they are different. Each artist worked together bringing their talents to produce a cohesive piece.
While driving downtown, I listened to a local minister on the radio. He was sharing that when he doesn’t say much that means he is processing the situation, trying to determine the best way to communicate his feelings whether it is being angry or frustrated. That is where I am today.
People are creative! I love that people are using their talents, ideas, resources, etc. to protest.
Tired of seeing blog posts on protests? Change public policy and procedures so protests are no longer necessary.
This is the first time that we as young adults have felt that we can use our voice and that our voice is being heard. This is the first time that we have seen other high school students become politically involved. Often our generation gets a bad rep (reputation) of not wanting to do anything.
My family lived in the part of Birmingham called “Dynamite Hill.” It is where the Klu Klux Klan dynamited houses belonging to civil rights leaders, and others who were challenging Jim Crow Laws.
I went back to school after I was an established artist to get credentials. When God gives you raw talent and you start to see more that can be associated with that talent, we must do as much as we can with that talent.
All the pieces in the exhibit were handpicked. I did studio visits. I had long conversations with the artists to make sure that I am representing them the way that they want to be represented. I want to show as much of the evolution of their work as possible.
The radical civil rights movement was founded and organized by white folks (the Quakers). The book “CORE the philosophy of the Civil Rights Movement”, by Elliot Rudwick traces how he got involved. He followed the white folks (Quakers). There has always been a black movement outside of that. The first black in CORE was James Farmer.
This wall is rich in history and can cause us to be exposed to much of the history and culture that we might not know existed.
We focus on the positive, activism, and uplifting the people. We focus on what makes the African American experience beautiful and wonderful, and sometimes ugly and horrible too.
I did not know about the Tuskegee Airmen until I got out of the military. I found out about them by meeting a few of the Tuskegee Airmen. From what I hear they didn’t lose any of the planes that they were guarding.
They asked for volunteers to try out for Airborne. Everyone’s first reaction was, “we don’t want to jump out of no planes”. We were told that it was an extra $55 per month in pay. When I heard that I said, “What the heck I’ll try. It is something different”. About 480 of us went to jump school; but only 125 passed.
I served in the Airforce from 1954 to 1974. I was a ground radio operator. Stateside I worked air ground traffic talking to airplanes. Overseas in Vietnam I was in SAC. I worked U2s (Lockheed U-2. A single jet engine aircraft).
The artists of the Harlem Renaissance pushed past the negative things to capture the positive productive aspects of life. They set the foundation for many of the artists today. The arts seemed to connect, the music, the paintings, the books, the sculptures, and dancing.
I really must pay homage to those who came before me. That is the reason I was excited to participate in this event today. It is a way to honor all those writers and poets in the Harlem Renaissance.