The Journey

Imagine traveling with your entire family, strangers or alone by land and waterway. Moving for miles with just a few things in hand, with the hopes of making life anew. This journey is tireless. You move through lands of many tongues only to be halted once you’ve arrived, to “the promised land.” The land of milk and honey. The one you’ve heard so much of and risked life and limb for the opportunity to make new, to make “better.” To be met with hoof and swinging leather. But the effort is no less, you still believe, you still hope. There should be a welcome sign for you. Some from faraway troubled lands, have been blessed by the clouds in the sky. Yet you traversed land, waded water, logged many miles under foot. I honor you, let your journey be blessed, let this new land with tragic beginnings, open herself to you, come, become, start anew. We all need to start anew.


Amy Sherald is Awesome

Not too long ago, I hopped a plane. To see some art. I’ve never done that before. But my heart made me do it. I had too. The excitement was overwhelming. My mom, not a fan of the big city, didn’t want me to go. I’m an adult. But obviously not to her. So a friend hooked me up with a chaperone, another adult, for my trip to the city of Angeles. He was good company and an amazing tour guide, so it worked out. The show was tantalizing. I swear to you, the painted subjects stared back as I stared at (them). I felt connected. Just some Gray (people), going about (their) Gray day, minding (their) Gray business. Like (them), I too really enjoy just going about my day, in real time, without the bother of the bother. Experiencing these paintings in person made me happy, just seeing the freedom, the simplicity of living a regular life. No matter how you look at it, the Grays are showing us how life should be lived, without unnecessary interruption and without fear.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Light, color and sound engulfed me as I made my way through the Van Gogh virtual gallery. The paintings projected like movies, the music punctuated by smoothly recited quotes from the eternal Van Gogh, it was beautiful. I felt connected, connected to people I did not know, just by being in the same room. I would like to say we all needed this meditative experience that utilized an intoxicating combination of sound, color, and light.

Good Trouble Indeed

I walked out of my home to the car and then drove a short way to the train station. On the station’s platform, I saw two women, one in a dress, black and white. I believe it was made up of strips. The woman next to her wore an African print, turquoise, asymmetrical skirt with a cute white shirt tucked in. They both wore flats; I should have done the same. I looked at them and automatically assumed we were all headed in the same direction, and I assumed they felt the same about me. 

Exiting the station – I walked, they followed. Not so much following me, but following the route to pay respect. Walking this route led me down and around a block. The more people I saw, the faster I walked until I came to the last person I could see and limped in place. I stood there and waited. Not too soon after the two women dressed well but comfortable, walked passed me to the end of the continuously growing line. 

I wanted to find a coworker friend who had come earlier and had waited for hours in the sun. I wanted to skip the line. So politely I turned to the man behind me and said, “I’m going to find a friend, if I can’t find her will you allow me back my spot?” He nodded yes, barely looking up from the cell phone he held. I went on a short but uneventful journey and was back not so soon after. I could not find her; she was too far ahead. But now, my slight limp has turned to a burning sensation at the bottom of my feet. I wore the wrong shoes. All I could think of was the pain in the bottom of my feet due to these wedges that have lodged a wedge between common sense and me. We’re moving again, and I get closer and closer to the front, my feet are hurting the longer I stand in place or walk, which relatively speaking was not that long and not that far. 

Representative John Lewis stood, sat, and marched for me. He walked for miles, was bashed over the head, and beat mercilessly. He organized, planned, educated himself – was elected by his community to represent them. He knew, unlike some of us, there are no shortcuts or excuses. Representative John Lewis was and is a human being, who fought for our freedoms to show and prove that you cannot judge, nor suppress one due to an inherited complexion. He asserted his humanity in everything he did, and that is the noblest thing he and every other civil rights leader of then and now can do, is be human. Showing that we all bleed, no begging, just constant feet to the pavement work ethic, a work ethic as relentless as any beating or injustice. So jumping in a car, riding a train and walking to stand at the bottom of the United States Capitol to whisper, thank you, as his body lie in state, was the very least I could do. 

Tied to the System

I created this piece in 2016, it’s still relevant today.  I wish it was not.  I – stand for matters of inequality being settled.  To ensure WE are treated like HUMANS in this land. I hope not one, but all, will allow themselves to see what the world looks like through the perspectives of HUMAN BEINGS, deemed void of value.

Justice or Else

I must admit I was a little taken back by all the faces at the March, some serious and focused on the words of the speakers.  People from all over assembling to demand rights that everyone should have without question.  I believe once we all figure out how to live with each other in this one-time gig called life, it will defiantly be a better place. (Click photo to view more images.)


The Francis Effect

Pope Francis has come and gone, but his presence is felt around Washington, DC. People from all over the country and some from outside voyaged to the nation’s capital to see him up close.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a believer or not we all know that he was here.  Please click the link and enjoy the images from the day – The Francis Effect

Washington, DC - September 23:  Parishioners, a few non-believers and vendors took over the the area around the Ellipse and The Catholic University to hear and see Pope Francis Wednesday, September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Leah L. Jones/For LLJ Photography)

Washington, DC – September 23: Parishioners, a few non-believers and vendors took over the the area around the Ellipse and The Catholic University to hear and see Pope Francis Wednesday, September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leah L. Jones/For LLJ Photography)