Fellowship Exhibition with The Gordon Parks Foundation
This exhibition will open on February 2, 2023 from 10a-4p and will run until April 14, 2023.
48 Wheeler Ave #1, Pleasantville, NY 10570
I often find myself thinking of my mother and grandmother, and the words of encouragement that they would say to me. I lost them both years ago and I’ve had to call on the lessons they taught me to help me manage my adult life. I am so grateful for all of the time, energy and love they expended on me and the rest of the family. As we moved through the pandemic things became increasingly strange and strained watching unarmed African American people get brutalized by the police, or worse killed by violence or inadequate healthcare . I had to recall their words on a daily basis.
This rumination drew me to the works of Gordon Parks and his view of African American women and mothers. I saw in his eye beauty, delicacy, loyalty, intelligence and strength. He depicted women the way I see them. Reverence and respect are in the way he captured them on film, and it urged me to try and do the same.
Mothers are our first caretakers, our first nurturers and teachers. From the time of conception the mothers body is protecting and growing her child. It is a literal labor to bring a child into the world and a labor to provide them with all of things that they may need. This labor is rarely rewarded but represents one of the biggest gifts that you can give a human being. One would think that in our society this would designate women as the most revered of people but unfortunately that is not the case .
Millions of women worldwide are denied access to education, health services, economic opportunities, experience reduced access to food and live in fear of gender based violence. According to the United Nations women are 25% more likely to live in extreme poverty. Things decline exponentially when you factor in race. African American women have a maternal mortality rate that is two times higher and worse than any other racial or ethnic group and the highest amongst developed countries.
With this exhibit I am declaring that African American women and mothers deserve to be seen. They deserve to be heard, paid, and protected.They are all of the things that can exist within a soul- soft, delicate, strong, thoughtful, funny, intelligent, and valuable. We need Black women, and with this exhibit I am simply saying “thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for us, for this country, and for the world at large.”