Pride, Assimilation & Dreams

ItTookVoicesof63'toGiveMeaningin2013CHIDINMA DUREKE “It took voices of 63’ to give meaning to 2013” Ink, gouache, newspaper on paper, 2013

They say freedom is a constant struggle. In 2013 Dr. Kings call for justice was celebrated renewed and revisited for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. “It took voices of 63’ to give meaning to 2013” (2013), painted as a tribute to the March on Washington August 28th, 1963 and the 50th Anniversary August 28th, 1963.

This painting displays four little girls walking to Sunday school or forward towards a place unknown to us, off the compositions. All four girls Addie Gains (12), Denis McNair(10), Cynthia Westly(14) and Carole Roberston (14) are looking forward all facing the same direction away from the viewer/ audience. Each girl is focused on one common goal. At their feet are images of each little girl, words and images that that reflect the topic. Images from the 50th Anniversary and words below carry their weight, memory and current history. By using the cut and paste technique I am attempting to tie together our past and future. Creating a quilt like pattern through cutting & pasting our history together. The images of the young girls are painted in a loose translucent style to symbolize them being drawn on a chalkboard, relating to how were on their way to Sunday school the morning of their death.

This piece hits close to home for me as an artist. Upon completion my youngest sister was the same age as one of the little girls killed in the bombing in Alabama. The little girl at the end is an image of my 12-year-older sister. Through using my sister as one of the little girls in the image I am again creating that connection between past, present and future, from 1963 – 2013.

The intensity, irreducibility and emphatic nature of the color “black” used in the background, defines the outline of each figure. Red, blue and yellow are primary colors used in the girls clothing to represent balance, unity and harmony. The paint is almost fading, creating a transparent illusion of each little girl almost fading or disappearing. The soft yellows and orange patches in color are meant to reflect the burn marks, scabs and wounds from the bombing/dark history.

Overall, “It took voices of 63’ to give meaning to 2013” (2013), is meant to symbolize how much work is left to be done and to elevate our voices; the voices of 1965 and the voices of 2013 -2014. We should see our own little girls of today marching forward with the girls of 1963 towards change and racial equality. There is always a chance to begin again and renew the dream of equality.




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