2021 is the Lunar Year of the Ox. Characteristics of the the OX are strong, reliable, fair, conscientious, inspiring confidence in others. calm, patient, methodical, trusted, opinionated. I painted my Ox Black and gave him Pan African Hearts. I put him into a circle of red, black and green compassion and set him against an illuminated backdrop.
It is poetic that one of the first photo shoots for Graphic Goods by Hosea Johnson was in Vicksburg, a place I love so much, a place full of beauty. A place that influences my design aesthetic and perspective so much. But like so many things I love unconditionally sometimes it can hurt you, but I love it. There is no explaining it.
The gift of loving that is so incredible. Tapping into that emotion is freeing. It's so simple, you can make a choice to love. Even if it does not feel great to love in the moment, it is a positive cause for the future... I do it on Facebook all the time, I choose to "love" most of my friends post instead of "like" but I'm human. Sometimes I hate my friend's post so, I end up in FB jail often. It's a thin line right?
This clothing design concept is about loving yourself unconditionally and unapologetically. A Buddha said "A Blue Deeper Than Indigo Itself" The Buddha was talking about faith but I think it can be applied to loving yourself as well.
We had to sing "The Greatest Love of All" for my high school graduation. I am so grateful that I was forced to practice that song for months before graduation, it set me up for a lifetime of happiness, "Learning to Love yourself is the Greatest Love of All" Say it again and again.
Winston is wearing Black Ox Lunar Year 2021 design. Black Ox adorned with Pan African hearts illuminated and circled in Pan African colors of unity, empathy and compassion.
I call the red, black and green heart the Pan African Heart, the concept was sparked by the BLM movement. All change comes from within. It is so hard to say that in the context of the dehumanization of black bodies in public, which is the direct cause of so much trauma in Black lives. Because external causes are real. Fundamental changes gives strength to overcoming external obstacles. When we love our entire selves unconditionally and develop deep faith in ourselves and the humanity of others no wall no mountain to ceiling is out of reach.
Winston and I came to Mississippi to say goodbye to our dear Aunt Daisy, Although we are a generation apart and have never lived in the same city, we both experienced long summers at Aunt Daisy's respectively. She was a beautiful woman with a grand personality. She loved fashion and made a living from it in Vicksburg. She also sold the best cakes and pies in town, Everyone I met had a good thing to say about Aunt Daisy. I would have my cakes fedexed into New York for the holidays. I felt so fortunate to eat her food. I was so fortunate to receive her love and encouragement throughout my life. I am so happy my little second cousin Winston got to experience Aunt Daisy and the beauty and wonder of Mississippi. Our Aunt Daisy was the best. #AfricanAmericanLife