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Black 35 over COVID 19


Beonce wearing flowing yellow gown opening double doors as water rushes past her.

I have a confession. I don't need your judgement I just need to get this off my chest. Until just the other day, I had never seen or heard Beyonce's Lemonade in its totality. I caught bits and pieces along the way. I saw lots of images and snatched some of the language. I even encountered some of the commentary on this work.

I am aware that this is potential grounds for having my Black Card pulled or at least suspended. Have mercy, I beg.

In the days since being isolated as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis, I stumbled across an article from the New York Times. You can read it for yourself here.

"The African American Art Shaping the 21st Century", by Wesley Morris examines 35 significant pieces of art by African Americans through the perspective of 35 other artists who have been impacted by those works. The article itself is visually stunning in its composition. The scroll button moves you from left to right, and the colors and images reflected are reminiscent of alters with photos, flowers, and candles on shelves. I chose to take a survey of the 35 offerings. They don't seem to be in any particular order. Some of the pieces are familiar and most of the artists are as well bringing to mind thoughts about what other pieces could have been honored; what might have been missing. As a wise old Jamaican lady once said,"Tinkin will make a man sh*t himself." So, I decided at that point to do something. This article would provide me with a way to preserve my sanity in the ever growing (pun intended) viral crisis!

I went back to the beginning of the list with a new determination. I would revisit each of the 35 artists and works with fresh eyes and time to consider them carefully, starting with Beyonce's Lemonade and Kerry Washington's musings on its place in history.

You are invited to join me as I go. I am not proposing a timeline (one per week), and I will be documenting my reflections here as well as on my Pinterest page under: Black 35 over COVID 19.

I'll also post on Facebook and Instagram from time to time.

Like most of us, I am looking for a way to make sense of the world as well as find some beauty and peace. Art has the power to do that. It is healing and restorative and connective in a way that only art can be.