I was minding my own business when one of my dope readers (@BeautyIntheGeek) emailed me talmbout how she went to the African Festival of the Arts in Chicago yesterday. It’s a great annual event and I usually go to load up on shea butter and to watch people rock their best fake kente cloth (from 87th street). It’s typically a good time all around. I didn’t go this year because I was out of town. BUT my readers are my eyes and ears in these streets.
Anywho, she sent me the picture below, saying she saw it at the Fest, and she had many questions. And so do I.
What we got here is Tupac, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Barack and Michelle Obama, Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali and Bob Marley. Riding horses. O________O
I’m confused. I have SO many questions.
Why are all these Black historical figures on horses??? Are they tryna fight racism in the Wild Wild West? WHERE ARE THEY GOING?!?
And, why is Rosa Parks in the back?!? Rosa ain’t refuse to leave her seat for y’all to put her on a horse in the back of the pack. SHE AIN’T! Y’all gon quit acking like Rosa ain’t a VIP when she is! How’d they even determine who’d be up front and who would be in the back? Why is Nelson Mandela all the way in the back like a stepchild? In fact, how’d they determine who’d be in this painting and who’d be left out? None of this makes any sense.
Has Barack Obama ever been in the military? Why is he in military gear? I know he’s commander-in-chief and alla that good stuff but ummm can he put on uniform? And I peep that his military pins are the pan-African colors (green, gold, red) and the U.S. colors (red, white, and blue). And to further drive the fact that Barack is African home, his horse got an Africa medallion on it.
Also, I see how the wives are behind their husbands peeping out like “Yeah, we’re back here too!” But umm… I know they ain’t together no more but why did they leave Winnie Mandela off Nelson’s horse? Did she sass talk him before the painting and get dropped off in a desert? SMH. She stood by her man all these years and can’t even get included in a painting of this magnitude (O_O).
Chile, I don’t know. Did Tyrese draw this, like he did the painting of Malcolm X baptizing Tupac? Did this vision come to someone else in a dream?
Whoever drew this really tried to be deep. REALLY tried. I bet they wept as they painted this, thinking they were paying ultimate homage to Black history. Too bad this painting says nothing besides “I know some famous Black folks” and “I like to draw horses.”
What do y’all think of this painting? Would you put it on your mantle piece and stroke your chin, contemplating those who came before you? Or would you tell Tyrese you’ont have anymore space in your house?