Rosa Parks 1913 – 2005.I had received an email to attend the Black Women’s National Congress. They wanted to know if I would be interested in exhibiting my art at this year’s brunch. My finances had been rough and so I hesitated to reply. But as I prayed about it God gave me a peace with it. They gave me the space free. I called and made arrangements to attend. That Sunday was an unusual day. I had stayed up late for nights painting and framing prints. There was an anti- war protest going on in D.C at the same time I would have attended that but I was committed to being at this event. I walked into the hotel and set up my art upstairs. It took some time. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and truth. Many Black women I consider elders of our time and great leaders were there. My table was near the restroom so I was very blessed to have constant traffic and see many women I consider heroines of our faith. In the afternoon the crowd had slowed down. Many were listening to speeches and networking. As I stood there an elderly woman approached me about my art. I began to explain to her my quest to preserve Black history and make sure our culture is educated about the past. I talked for about 8 minutes explaining my art and soul. A camera man came up and began taking pictures of me and this older lady. I was talking to someone important but I was not aware of whom I was talking to. I knew something was different. I showed her a piece I called the “Sit in”. She was interested in getting it. She looked at me and smiled and asked did I ship my art? I replied yes and that I made sure that it stays reasonable in price so that my people could purchase the art and have positive images in their home. She shook my hand and handed me her brochure. Her face was glowing and skin was soft like baby skin. No wrinkles stuck out and no real signs of age, but signs of strength and truth. As I looked down at the paper work with the address, it was then that I realized I had been talking to Rosa Parks. For a few moments I was stunned and the room seemed to stand still in time. There was no one standing there but me and her and God looking down. She smiled and walked away and I was still stunned that I had the awesome privilege to meet her and share my heart. She listened to every word and gave a quiet sigh of approval. I could not speak or think for the next 10 minutes. God had given me the greatest blessing that day. I paint history, but that day I met history that changed our lives as Black people.
2 weeks later I emailed her on Friday afternoon inquiring about preserving history through any project that she had and shipping the art. She died that next day. A part of me had just begun to live because of the price she paid for my freedom. The baton has been passed on to us to carry on what God had her begin in the modern Civil Rights movement. It really began 2000+ years ago when the greatest Civil Right was given to all mankind by Jesus Christ, to be free from sin and walk with God through Him. My artwork is committed to the work on the cross and the resurrection from the cross that we bear every day. I am thankful for meeting Rosa Parks. God gave me a priceless gift that day, to look true courage in the eye and hold her legacy in my heart. It is my journey now that I must pray through. She was 42 when she sat down. I am 48 and I am just beginning to stand…Thank you to all those who fought for my freedom and the Rosa Parks who will be birthed in this era of trying times!
An American Shero