She found her way to me, courtesy of my daughter, three days ago, and only now am I realizing why she struck such a chord.
I had no idea when I traveled to Washington, D.C. with Agape's choir to sing at various inaugural balls to celebrate our very first black president that twelve years later, we'd be celebrating our very first black vice-president — and that I would have a role in honoring her in a very special way.
This excerpt from Sacred Landscapes of the Soul resonates with me right now.
On Facebook I follow the group "The Golden Age of Illustrations," along with some 148,000 others. The images are lush, gorgeous, brilliant. This one stopped me in my tracks. A naked black woman. And is that Jesus? The post explained that the illustration, by John Farleigh, appears in the 1933 book, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God. The author? One Bernard Shaw. As in George the playwright.
It's nearly impossible to find images of black people in this feed. The men, women and children are usually pink and rosy-cheeked. I immediately clicked "Like" when I came across a cartoon by E. Simms Campbell, an African-American artist whose works were the first to appear in popular national publications, including Life magazine in 1931, and created Esquire's wide-eyed mascot, Esky.
I wanted to know more. So I did what any other self-respecting arbiter of instantaneous gratification in the 21st century would do.
I like to make stuff...and think about stuff.