Watch night service has added significance and history in the African-American community in the United States, since many slaves were said to have gathered in churches on New Year's Eve, in 1862, to await news and confirmation of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, on January 1, 1863.
Sonja Griffin Evans was inspired to paint Freedom's Door which is based upon New Year's Eve of the Emancipation Proclamation. Written on the door, in the gullah dialect, are the thoughts of a person walking through the door for the very last time as a slave.
Gullah is a culture and language derived from the enslaved africans brought to the sea islands of South Carolina, Georgia and some parts of Florida in the 1800's. Being isolated on the islands they were able to maintain more of their African culture.
The person walking through Freedom's Door is walking into a new year, a new way of life and a new found freedom.
Take your key; which is your ability to emancipate yourself from mental slavery and the renewing of your mind, Open your door; which is your willingness to take action by faith and Find your FREEDOM which is a God given right to all of humanity.
And know God opens doors no man can close and He who the son has set free is free indeed.
"The Back Door"
This piece was inspired by a quote from Dr. Carter G. Woodson.
Hopefully when you stand before it 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 decisions?"
You are free. Free to not only walk through the front door of others physically and mentally, but free to build your own and walk through it as well.