Say it Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!, 2020
12" x 24"
$1,500 (Call for shipping price)
Like many of you, I have been wanting to continue to speak out and use my art in support of black lives. I am blessed to know a fabulous woman, Shermaine Owens, who is my heart sister, and an incredible black woman. We have always had candid conversations about race, and I recently watched the movie “13th” on her recommendation. I have always had an affinity for black birds, and felt they were a good representative for me to celebrate black lives, and speak out against mass incarceration of people of color. I had asked Shermaine for different songs that represented black empowerment to her, and this one by James Brown was perfect for what I wanted to show. This is a red-winged blackbird - their red wing patches reminded me of the Pan-African flag. They are bold, beautiful birds, and they frequent croplands, marshes, and fields. The reeds symbolize prison bars, and I have the bird singing out and breaking free of the bars. I am honoring and giving voice to Shermaine’s grandfather, Andrew King, and speaking out against the countless other wrongly imprisoned black people after the 13th Amendment was passed, all the way through the racist “war on crime” and “war on drugs”, that continue today. Shermaine’s grandfather was an educated black man that could read and write, so the police falsely accused him of forgery. They got 10 years of forced labor out of him before he died in prison at the age of 33. Shermaine’s mother was six years old when her father was taken to prison. As Shermaine told me, “He left a wife and 4 children to grieve for a lifetime.” Let’s do what we can to stop this cycle. Black lives more than matter.