Sunday, November 18, 2012

ReEnergEyed by Charleston NAACP 95th Freedom Banquet

What an awesome day in Charleston, SC!  I really experienced an epiphany yesterday. After hearing from two dynamic leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, I came away with a total change of mind and heart.  I was educated on just what this organization has done in the SC low country, and the impact on the state as a whole.  Prior to this awakening, I had given up on the NAACP based on a negative experience I had with the Myrtle Beach chapter some years ago.  I am ever so appreciative that my ancestral connection with my paternal line has drawn me back to my Charleston root connections!
My afternoon began with the Friends of Charleston Association for the Study and Life of African Americans (ASALH*) monthly meeting at the Avery Institute of African American Research and Culture, College of Charleston.  
The featured speaker was the Rev. Nelson B, Rivers, III.  He shared a myriad of personal vignettes from his youth to current political events which are impacting all South Carolinians.  I was so moved that I made a decision to join forces with the Charleston chapter.  
 "... for 35 years, Rev. Rivers has worked at every level of the NAACP, including President, North Charleston Branch; Executive Director, South Carolina State Conference; Director of the Southeast Region; Chief Operating Officer and twice as Chief of Field Operations, and is currently Vice President of Stakeholder Relations of the NAACP.  His work led to the election of more than 300 new black elected officials in South Carolina between 1986 and 1994.  He was a leading organizer of the largest civil rights demonstration in the history of South Carolina when over 50,000 marched on the capitol in January 2000 to demand the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag.  He is on the Board of Trustees of  Wilberforce University.  From 1994 to 1998, he served as president of the university's Alumni Association. During his tenure, membership tripled and the alumni contributed over $2 million to the university".  (retrieved from, 11/17/12.)
I later attended the NAACP 95th Annual Freedom banquet at the North Charleston Convention Center.  This year's honorees included Dr. Millicent Brown of Claflin University, Dr. Brenda Nelson of Charleston County School District, and three time Olympiad Katrina McClain.  
The keynote address was delivered by Benjamin Todd Jealous, the 17th President and CEO of the NAACP.  This young man is a dynamic speaker.  He presented a number of points and directives, which only a seasoned leader can impart.  Again, my decision to give the NAACP another chance, was  intensified.  Thank you Mr. Jealous!  
"Appointed at age 35 in 2008, he is the youngest person to lead the century old organization.  During his tenure, the NAACP's online activists have swelled from 175,000 to more than 600,000; its donors have increased from 16,000 individuals per year to more than 120,000; and its membership has increased three years in a row for the first time in more than 20 years.
Jealous began his career as a community organizer in Harlem in 1991 with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund while working his way through college.  In 1993, after being suspended for organizing student protests at Columbia University, he went to work as an investigative reporter for Mississippi's frequently-firebombed Jackson Advocate newspaper". (retrieved from, 11/17/12)
Charleston Friends of ASALH is dedicated to the following mission: To promote , research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.
Established on September 9, 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, we are the Founders of Black History Month and carry forth the work of our founder, the Father of Black History. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

SC Art Educator Association Annual Staff Professional Development Conference

     The annual SC Art Educator Association Staff Development Conference in Myrtle Beach was great this week.  The featured artist presenters included South Carolina's own and highly esteemed, Dr. Leo Twiggs, British born Shaun Cassidy, Mac Arthur Goodwin, R. Scot Hockman, and Tom Stanley.  The resounding theme: teaching artists MUST create.  Although I enjoyed hearing from the speakers, I thought it interesting that there were no featured women artists represented throughout the three day event.  This will surely be pointed out by yours truly.

     There were  many sessions to choose from.  It was a hard choice; but I decided on the Frida & Diego, Occupying Anonymous, a video project with "underprivileged girls", "nesting" with wool, paper making, melted crayon pictures, and Media Literacy for starters.  The latter is the latest addition to the SC Art Standards.  The nesting project utilized the wet felting technique.  It included embellishment of the wool with feathers, raffia and other nest building supplies.  The melted crayon session got a bit detained.  While using hairdryers, the electricity circuit went out, so we were left the option of only using votive candles for melting.

     Next year's conference will be October 18-20, 2013 in the beautiful Beaufort, SC.  It is definitely on my calendar.  Please mark yours as well.

Thanks to all the organizers, presenters, session leaders and attendees for an awesome time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

QUASHIE ART: Dr. Myrtle Glascoe - My Beginning

QUASHIE ART: Dr. Myrtle Glascoe - My Beginning: Awhile back I wrote a tribute to one of my art mentors, Dr. Leo Twiggs . In that post I wrote about our first meeting in my apartment when h...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

QUASHIE ART: Redux Plantation Mural

QUASHIE ART: Redux Plantation Mural: As part of my upcoming exhibition, Redux asked me to create a mural and paint it on the exterior of the building. It is one of the few publi...

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Aquarian Mum's Moment -Synchronicity and the Stono Rebellion

Yesterday, February 16 marked the 87th year of Edna Mae King, my mom's birth day.  Born in 1925, on the Waccamaw River Neck -- between Georgetown and Pawleys Island, this September 9th, will mark 21 years since her demise.

It is amazing how fast time has passed.  My sons have matured, as they reach their 28th and 19th birthdays this year.  We have lived many memorable moments between New York City and South Carolina, by the rivers, both literally and of life.  It is the waters that enhance my fluidity, intuitive and creative process.

The Hudson River was the closest body of water to our last Harlem dwelling.  During my formative process of growing up in the Bronx, we were near the Bronx River, Orchard Beach (a man made one), and the Long Island Sound, not far from City Island.  Here in Chuck and George towns, we are surrounded by the Waccamaw, Black, Sampit, North and South Santee Rivers in Georgetown county; and the Ashley, Cooper, Wando, and Stono Rivers in Charleston county.

Interestingly enough, there was a famous uprising -- the Stono Rebellion (9 September 1739 - ), which occured along the latter river.  An early rebellion of those enslaved by the British in what was then called Charles Towne.

Synchronicity is my mother's crossing over on the day of the Rebellion !!!!!!  Ashe ..................

The Stono Rebellion (sometimes called Cato's Conspiracy or Cato's Rebellion) was a slave rebellion that commenced on 9 September 1739, in the colony of South Carolina. It was the largest slave uprising in the British mainland colonies prior to the American Revolution.[1]
One of the earliest known organized rebellions in the present United States, the uprising was led by native Africans who were Catholic and likely from the Kingdom of Kongo, which had been Catholic since 1491. Some of the Kongolese spoke Portuguese. Their leader, Jemmy (referred to in some reports as "Cato", and probably a slave belonging to the Cato, or Cater, family who lived just off the Ashley River and north of the Stono River) was a literate slave who led 20 other enslaved Kongolese, who may have been former soldiers, in an armed march south from the Stono River (for which the rebellion is named).
They recruited nearly 60 other slaves and killed 22–25 whites before being intercepted by the South Carolina militia near the Edisto River. In that battle, 20 whites and 44 slaves were killed, and the rebellion was largely suppressed. A group of slaves escaped and traveled another 30 miles (50 km) before battling a week later with the militia. Most of the captured slaves were executed; a few survived to be sold to the West Indies.
In response to the rebellion, the South Carolina legislature passed the Negro Act of 1740 restricting slave assembly, education and movement. It also enacted a 10-year moratorium against importing African slaves, and established penalties against slaveholders' harsh treatment of slaves. It required legislative approval for manumissions, which slaveholders had previously been able to arrange privately.