'The Back Door'
I was inspired to paint 'The Back Door' by this quote from Dr. Carter G. Woodson.
“If you can control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions. If you can determine what a man thinks you do not have worry about what he will do. If you can make a man believe that he is inferior, you don’t have to compel him to seek an inferior status, he will do so without being told and if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the back door, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one.”
Hopefully when you stand before this door and read it, you start to self examine. Making sure that the many years of slavery and the mentality of inferiority, self enslavement and fear no longer exist.
It makes a person question in all aspects of their life, "Am I going through the back door (colored entrance) in my life choices?"
You are free. Free to not only physically walk through the front door of others, but the freedom to build your own front door and walk through it as well.
'And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.'
As I reflect back on one of my favorite paintings, Cotton Conversation, it reminds me of all the hard work that went into building Historical Black Communities, Historical Black Colleges and all the opportunities our ancestors provided for us by working their faith.
Even though all odds were against them, they persevered. Their faith in times of sorrow and despair should be an example of the mountains that can be moved out of our lives.
In the Bible, faith is compared to a mustard seed.
I read mustard trees have been found in various locations throughout the world. Even though it’s one of the smallest seeds, the trees can grow up to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
The tree can grow in arid, dry climates and thrive even in clay or sandy soil. It can grow in hot, dry weather or cool, wet climates. Also, even if the tree is cut down to the trunk, it can grow back again. If you believe, you can overcome and come back stronger than ever, just like the mustard tree that’s been severely pruned, even if only a tiny bit of faith remains. The leaves can be made into mustard. The tree can produce edible salts and the leaves have been shown to prevent tooth decay and alleviate tooth aches. The implications of this tree are not lost in a dead and decaying world.
Neither are we.....
'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' -Philippians 4:13
Much like the people of the gullah culture, we're more than traditions and a language. It's about our faith, the spirit of overcoming, persevering, preserving and valuing who we are as people of african descent. That is so very important.
Minnie Clancey's faith to step out and purchase this home at the age of 19 shows she knew and accepted that freedom was a God given right. As well as land ownership and the development thereof.
The cottage stayed in the family passing on to Minnie's niece, Lulu in 1956. Lulu was taken in and raised by Minnie as her own daughter. I believe Minnie understood that a good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children. Leaving something for the betterment of the next generation.
Kelly Williamson-Coastal Town Realty Group- Keller Willliams Affiliate
This was one of my most enjoyable pieces.
Larry Sloan, a fellow artist friend of mine, gave me this old guitar a few years ago. Immediately, I envisioned a man playing his guitar. I then began to paint this piece on it.
When I revisited this piece, memories of my childhood watching in amazement my dad strumming this very instrument and singing came to mind. His passion for music spills over into the lives of everyone he meets.
Recently, I stood in amazement watching him as he serenaded the crowd with guitar in hand after being brutally attacked with a hammer months ago. I was not only overtaken by the sweet sounds of his voice and guitar, but his greater passion for life. A constant reminder to never waste one precious moment of time and that there is a God.
My Dad's favorite quote:
"Yesterday is history. The future is a mystery. Today is a gift, which is a Present. The 'Present' is Now."
As I looked at the pictures from the Selma 50th Anniversary Annual Bridge Crossing, my painting 'We Are One' continued to flood my mind. The inscription on the clothing in the painting ,"We as a people will get to the promise land", spoke volumes to me. Not only does It symbolizes their belief in the mission they were to accomplish, but it was in their very being, working their faith in doing what they believed God had purposed for their lives. Even in the face of death.
It focuses on those who paved the way for us. Those who understood, the only way we as a people would make it to the promise land, was by banding together, supporting one another and working towards a common vision for the betterment of us all.
My hope, is that we as a people, not only walk in their footsteps across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, but let us understand and continue the vision to follow their examples in our daily lives and our communities.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18