Can’t I Be Angry

There is a lot of love in our world. I feel it everyday with my family, friends, in the music I listen to, the art I see, the things I enjoy, my neighbors; I can go on. Yet in America, it is very hard being a person of color.  The structure of this country is built on marginalizing the poor, the colored and the different. This has to stop. As a Black American, there are days that I find myself angry that in 2016, we still struggle and live in an unequal society. It infuriates me that blacks are continually losing their lives because of skin color. It pisses me off to hear that our pain and struggle is dismissed because slavery is over, segregation was abolished, laws were put in place and we have black president. If anything, these things show that racism and equality is not something that can be changed by just law. I find myself angry and I question it. Why am I angry? Should I be angry? 

Blacks' history in this country has constantly been about getting freedom, equality and being treated as human beings. To obtain these things, we fought with non-violence, spirituality and black power. We made many strides and have been successful in many ways, but there is a reality. As we fought and discussed how to get our freedoms, as we protest, changed laws, and integrated schools we did not change hearts. Not fast enough to extinguish the beliefs and narratives America created about what blacks are and deserve. Those toxic tales successfully spread and rooted itself in the fabric of America and seeped into American systems – education, housing, career, and prison. We see more blacks in prison than in schools. There are more homeless men of color on the streets than taking care of their families. These are more than the results of bad choices made by these individuals. This is also the result of racism, inequality and irresponsibility of America of the choices it made centuries ago. That should make us all angry.

The negative narrative of the Negro was not just believed by whites; but by many, even black people. Those words. Hearing them and living them daily and being treated like third-class citizens cuts into your soul, making some of us hate ourselves and in turn, teach that self-hatred to next generations. The outcome is a world that everyday, rather it knows it or not, makes me, and others who look like me, face and fight racism daily. 

It makes me so mad that people cannot see that America has taken so much from blacks and others of color, dehumanizing us for so long and when America was pushed to change its ways, it was done with little or no reconciliation, repentance or repayment. America is too arrogant to truly be sorry.  To live in a country that ignores my pain; to be told to pick myself up from my bootstraps, when you took them and burnt them the day you met my forefathers. That truly makes me angry.

I am tired of being angry, so I know you are tired of the guilt, but it ain’t going away until you stop benefitting from it and we stop struggling because of it. Talking and understanding from all sides must be done. Many things in this world are mimicking what is happening in the good old US of A and I truly believe the world would be different if America was a more loving place. As I am writing this, we just had another mass shooting in Florida, killing 49 people. It was a hate crime against LGBTQ and the Latin and Hispanic communities.  Hate. That is what America teaches. We learned through people like Martin Luther King Jr. to oppose hate with love. That is what we are doing, but how long can you love when things do not change? Minutes? Days? Years? Decades? Centuries? I don’t want to be angry, but I cannot deny that I am. I am also open to talking and being part of real change and doing it in a productive and loving way. 




365 Days of Creativity – Day 21


A lot of my art supplies are packed. I have to leave my home for a short amount of time while I am working on a project.  I am not sure how I feel about it. I am excited about the project I am working on, but not excited about living in someone else's space and living out of a suitcase. It gets old kind of quick.  This drawing started as lines. Me bored and emptying my brain to keep from worrying and feeling displaced and the next thing I knew, I saw a image grow from the lines. Even when I am zoned out, these women somehow appear. 

I was listening to Al Green while drawing. He has a complicated life and a beautifully complicated voice, but this one song that you see in the video combine his secular and spiritual understandings of the world he was living in at that time. No matter what we do; draw, dance, write, sing, our core – who we are will always come out. With Al Green, his religious and spiritual beliefs came out during Soul Train and me, Colorful Women show up even in squiggly lines. 

365 Days of Creativity – Day 20

I am determined to create 365 images. I have not been faithful in doing one drawing everyday. I wish I could, but everyone implement projects in their own way. Disclaimer over. Here are two drawings I created as part of 365 Days of Creativity – Day 20.  I wanted to create two drawings – one with a lot of texture and lines, the other more minimal. Which one is more interesting? Which one keeps the attention of the viewer? Which one is better understood? This statement I am using, She said; I am not sure when I started to use it or even what it means. Maybe the women's physical form is the verbal statements.  It is so interesting to see things in drawings that come out of me that I did not consciously choose or even realize I put it on the paper. Drawings and art in its simplest form come from a deep place in us and helps up get to know ourselves a little better. I do wonder what my art says about me and the world I see. 

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365 Days of Creativity – Day 17

Day17 Lines are beautiful and today, I played with different thickness of lines. What does it mean, what do they say? Sometimes it does not matter. It only matter that you put the lines on paper.  I listened to this new music that I came across on YOUTube. The collection of music is called The Touré-Raichel Collective, which is a collaboration from a Malian and Isreali musician. Beautiful pieces to create to.

365 Days of Creativity – Day 14

I am a little off on my creative days. I was actually working on a art project for kids and it kind of took me away from this. I want to share the cup art I created this week. I made them to give the kids who aprticipated in the project some samples to go by.  What did I listen to while I made this ? Nothing. But I would have loved to listened to Raphaeal Saddig's Big Easy. 




365 Days of Creativity – Day 12


Kimbra has such a beautiful unique voice. It flirts on this edge of almost going off key and then just raising into a audible space that you can only call it amazing.  Two other artist, Feist and Bjork kind of give me that same experience.  I love to see how the music comes from her mouth to her hands and out of her fingers. She can hardly stay still. A real artist. During this session, I think the different sounds of Kimbra caused me to draw several different characters.  I am thinking of making this one into a painting.  Below…video of Kimbra.


365 Days of Creativity – Day 9


I love Celtic and Irish music and musicians. I think it is because the music has the same soul as gospel and as some of the music I hear from West Africa. You hear the hurt, the passion and life in each chord.  One of my favorite Irish artist is Glen Hansard. I was introduced to him in the movie Once, but learned I had been listening to him prior to that, not knowing who he was. During this drawing session, I was listening to different pieces fron Hansard. Below is piece from a video series, Wideosesja by Uwolnij Muzyke.

365 Days of Creativity – Day 8


Neo-Soul. I am a fan. This is what I grew up listening to or more to the point, this is what I was listening to as a teen and early 20s. It was the voice of my generation finding a creative way to share our lost and love and consiousness.  ?uestlove of the Roots created a playlist on Rhapsody call the Soulquesterains. It includes songs from The Roots, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, D'Angelo, Common, Bilal and the list goes on and on.  During my drawing session, I think I saw the music and I know I felt it. Below are some of my favorite videos from that time.