February 01, 2017

Catch Your Breath

Kerry James Marshall's Mastry exhibit at The Met Breuer in New York City interrogates as well as celebrates diasporic black life through history and culture his work extends a contemporary canvas for reimagining African Americans within an incomplete narrative of American History.  According to The Met Breuer:
"Encompassing nearly 80 works—including 72 paintings—that span the artist's remarkable 35-year career, it reveals Marshall's practice to be one that synthesizes a wide range of pictorial traditions to counter stereotypical representations of black people in society and reassert the place of the black figure within the canon of Western painting."
Marshall's work offers stunning narrative, artistic forms and layers of technique in creative expression where learning, healing, and understanding of the African American experience can be appreciated.

This clip is from Creating Mastry a full day program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is available for online reviewing.  Rashida Bambray's ring shout dance with echos of her sister singing "Run, Mary, Run" left me catching my breath.

"I am reminded of the value of black spaces." — Rashida Bumbray

 Did you experience the Mastry exhibit?  Please share your comments.

January 28, 2017

We're Still Staying Together

Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinem, March on Washington (1983)
photo:  Getty Images 
Last weekend this time I had traveled south to Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March, which moved an unprecedented, unanticipated phenomenal national as well as global groundswell.  I was in the company of few good friends, we had hats and posters.  During the drive down we spoke with family and friends who all resounded the same messages of encouragement and hope.  I come from a family and community where the long arm of the  Civil Rights movement of protest and resistance were lived experiences so I did expect the “be safe” comments as well as “we’re proud of you.”  It was unexpected feelings of solidarity that surprised me with them and those we met all along the way. As we headed down late Friday night the roads were jammed, we didn’t stress we were just in awe, passing up crowded rest stops with sighting those pink hats.

Just past midnight we arrived, unpacked and my friends finished up posters on the spot in the living room l
eaving the final touches for before our Saturday morngin departure. We slept for a few hours with new feelings of excitement about the day ahead.  My friends husband made a pot of oatmeal and we all talked in then kitchen moving around getting ready for the day. Before we got on the DC Metro we went to get coffee where we saw others with the same idea and more pink hats.   Our Metro ride was an educational experience as we sat down with an eccentric, wise old-timer who kept our attention.  We also started reading and sharing posters with others on the ride. The day was full with lots of walking, stories, sharing and connecting with all kinds of people from everywhere nodding and making other gestrures of solidarity.

All this week I have been moving my ideas in the power of this experience.  I have been intentional with regard to pressing a few of the emanating points:
  • Identitfy and move on issues that resonate with you.
  • We still will work better together, collectively.
  • Embracing difference builds unique strength for new work.
  • The strength of this moment here must carry us forward over a great distance.
As my Saturday morning starts, I reflect here and well, to catch my breath.  We must show up for what matters. Here's the call:

Clip via @voguemagazine: "And just in case you needed an extra pep talk...with a few of the march organizers—Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Sarah Sophie Flicker, and Cassady Fendlay—that outlines other ways to make a difference. Whether it’s donating time or money to an organization that defends your rights, volunteering on a local level, or simply isolating the issues that matter most to you, there’s a lot you can do.."  And yes you should read the Vogue magazine article too. 
As women when we stand in solidarity with men, young people and elders in our families and communities.  It's important to recoginize as we say in public health where we live, work, learn, play and pray is the ground to move against all forms of hate as we work for progress for our health and well-being.

Local efforts matter.  It’s remarkable to me that in the last week as I sat down in in meetings and other gatherings institutinoal leaders joined marches and shared their experiences.   While I note the visible numbers (shout out to the the pink hats and yes, I have one) around in Washington, D.C., across our nation and globally — it is the power of a sense of unity felt standing in the midst of it all that remains with me.  


Now on to my Saturday schedule of exercise, research, meet ups and time with family.  Please leave comments with your experience and insight.

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