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Because We Need Each Other (with Clouds)

I painted a slightly different version of my children looking across the ocean for Jacqueline’s George Floyd Forum. Jacqueline explained the significance of looking across the open sea with a bright cloud overhead. “Our history has been wrought with horrible experiences around the sea and water,” she told me. “I would like a painting in which African American children are happy looking at water, looking at the ocean. Where they are unafraid and embrace water’s beauty and feel it can be part of their life experience, too.”

From the Middle Passage when slave ships transported hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children across the Atlantic to the colonies (many of whom died  and whose bones still lie on the bottom of the ocean) to the enslaved who tried to escape dogs and guns by running through rivers (many of whom were shot and whose bones lie at the bottom of the rivers) to the Draining of the Pools, during which public swimming pools were drained and shut down, disallowing Black children to learn to swim simply because Whites didn’t want Black skinned people poisoning the water

Who wouldn’t have an issue with water?