I get emotional every time I see the photo of little Parker Curry looking in awe at the portrait of “Queen” Michelle Obama in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
I had read that both the artist, Amy Sherald, and Mrs. Obama wanted something more “conceptual and archetypal, bigger than just one model” so that young girls in particular could see themselves in the art.
I think they achieved their goal.
“You exist in our minds and our hearts in the way that you do because we can see ourselves in you.” ~ Amy Sherald, speaking to First Lady Michelle Obama
Inhale Representation, Exhale Suppression…
Inhale Identification, Exhale Assimilation…
Inhale Celebration, Exhale Hateration…
The permissions granted to white Americans but denied to America’s citizens of color have created a sense of entitlement among the former and often sucked the hope of life from the latter.
A European, middle-class, “Christian” culture dominating all social constructs in this country has given white males in particular the confidence to act on whatever good or evil impulse they have.
Black Americans, on the other hand, frequently withhold permissions from themselves and their children to take life-affirming actions because of a sometimes imagined but often real risk of life-altering consequences.
“… the fear he hears in the voices of his elders is…another fear, a fear that the child, in challenging the white world’s assumptions, was putting himself in the path of destruction.” ~ James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Renita Alexander, Leadership Unlocked