So I get the call @ 8:30am…”Congratulations, you won the nomination!”
I haven’t heard that since 3rd grade, when I replaced a boy named Sean Ryan in student government, because he was moving away. What was the big deal...we got to have a pizza party courtesy of Sam’s Pizzeria.
But this “congratulations” was different. It represented true acknowledgement for a decision I made half heartedly in junior year of high school when I was told, “I’m sorry but you cannot take trigonometry, because you did not pass geometry”. OMG what am I going to do….I am NOT going to be an accountant! The dream I was going to live after my dad could not be due to being drafted into a segregated army out of college in Tennessee. What am I going to do?!!
Apparently, I can’t write! So journalism is out. I can’t type…so I can’t even be a secretary…DAMN!! I am going to a Cardinal Spellman ...how the hell did I get in here, anyway? I am NOT like any of my brainiac friends. Well, I’m taking these “ART” classes. Wow! They give Regents diplomas in that? I’ll take it!!!!!!!
So what do you do with an Art diploma? Gee, I can be an art teacher! Or a painter….Maybe I can go to France where they appreciate black American women artists. Hmmm, I can marry an artist, have little baby artists & live happily ever after. The sky’s the limit huh….YEAH RIGHT! No one in my circle believes that.
But the only other person from my original circle who really believed that concept was my dad. He NEVER discouraged me, shunned my decision to be an artist, nor disowned me for being a slacker. He just told me “Your young, your time will come”
So when a fellow artist nominated me for her sorority (Delta Sigma Theta) as a Woman of Excellence in the Arts….I was flattered…but didn’t think I would get it. So when the called came in that Saturday morning with the statement after. “IT WAS A UNANIMOUS VOTE” I was like…….WAAAAAT!!! In my mind I am thinking (I am guessing the rest of your sisters are all sleeping ... so does 2 count as UNANIMOUS?) But when I hung up the phone, I thought about the fight that I have been doing to get artists empowered, recognized & respected. The years of grooming my husband’s art career in PBC. The development of writing, theatre work & visual art I bestowed on so many young children for the last 24 years. The blood, sweat & tears to earn respect for my artist community. I realized that I fought hard for some acknowledgement…. & finally I am getting it. Humbly accepting something that I quietly yearned for: that acknowledgement that I am really an artist.
As a multi-discipline accompanied with being an intellect … my brain never shuts off. So I find myself being impatient when the intellectual world can’t think creatively & the creative world can’t think logically. So God put me here to be that bridge. & I am grateful for being that needed vessel.