Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston

This won't be a post about my drawing today. We have lost many singers over the past few years but this one has affected me the most and has gone straight to my heart. The death of Whitney Houston.  When I heard it on the TV yesterday all I could do was just cry. She was a big part of my childhood and when I think of my childhood I think of her  very vividly. When I was 6 years old I wanted to be just like her! My mom use to curl my hair really big!! (this was before I had a relaxer) and I would sing, How Will I Know, The Greatest Love Of All, and All At Once into a hair brush.  I use to put on shows for my stuffed animals and I would sing her songs to my dad. My dads favorite was Saving All My Love. Through the years I still listened to her and bought every one of her albums. Her songs take up more space on my itunes then any other singer. She came with me to elementary school, middle school, high school, college and adulthood. Her songs have been through every stage of my life, but I felt like I was joining the crowd with saying insensitive things about her drug use and choice in men.  Now I sit here and remember that everyone is human, entertainer or not.  I don't want to remember her for her troubled life I want to remember her for her voice and how it healed so many painful years and brought me happiness and memories. I always wanted her to get well from her drug use and after seeing her on Oprah in 2009 and listening to her new album, I Look To You, I was excited for her comeback. The CD was great and really showed that she wanted to make herself better.

She will always remain in my heart even if I did not know her personally. The pain of her death can only be healed by listening to her music.
R.I.P. Whitney I love you

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Underground Railroad

For the past three years or maybe even four I have been working on a project about the Underground Railroad.  One particular aspect that seems interesting to me is its connection with the whaling industry at Mystic Seaport, CT.

As a kid when I learned about the Underground Railroad the thought amazed me. I literally pictured it as train tracks or railroad tracks that were under the ground. Kind of like the NYC subway. Not so! It was a network of secret routes and safe houses in the 19th century. The height of the movement was between 1850 and 1860 and by the year 1850 nearly 100,000 slaves escaped via the Railroad. It consisted of meeting points, routes that were kept secretive, and safe house that provided assistance aided by abolitionist. The resting spots where runaways could sleep and eat were given the code names "stations" and "depots." Travel could be by boat or train but mostly was done by foot.

Slaves would run north along certain routes that were meant to confuse slave catchers. Most escapes were by small groups and individuals. The journey was particularly dangerous and difficult for women and small children however many still participated, such as Harriet Tubman.

I'm afraid of many of things! Being confined is one especially on airplanes. I enjoy my freedom so the thought of being owned I can not fathom! Sometimes I do wonder what I would have done if I had been a slave. If I would try to escape or just ride it out. Considering I'm a fighter and sometimes accused of being stubborn ( haha!) there are times I would think I would just try to escape. Of course its easy for me to say that since I am not faced with that situation. It would be a difficult decision. But the chance for freedom that would be a big incentive.

Below are a few drawings and paintings I did of a family escaping slavery via the Underground Railroad.