Art Afro #47 – “Brave and Bold American Afro” by Unicia R. Buster – September 11, 2015

"Bold and Beautiful American Afro" by Unicia R. Buster

“Brave and Bold American Afro” by Unicia R. Buster

I, as do most adult Americans, remember the events of September 11, 2001, as if it happened yesterday. What I gained from that tragic event is how oblivious we are to the hurts and pains of the rest of the world. Nothing ever happens to or touches America. We’re indestructible, right? We keep on moving and the world revolves around us. Fast forward to 2015, countries are still at war, humans are still greedy and self-centered and some even racist, and we still haven’t learned.

This was made from torn construction paper. Thinking about the act of tearing is a reminder of things that were destroyed, broken down or beaten by whatever acts – like war, divorce, death, natural disasters, loss of job (income), disease or illness. Sometimes it’s hard to see past the broken pieces.

After tearing the paper, I glued it back together on another surface to create an image. In this way, one may think of picking up the pieces of life and recreating something new – and perhaps even better – out of the brokenness. It’s like seeing the silver lining or knowing that the storm won’t last always. The assembly is taking a look at it in a different way. It will not be quite what is was because it isn’t supposed to. Sometimes, we try so hard and spend tons of energy trying to get back what was, but the universe (God) is trying to open your eyes to other possibilities.

At the end of the American flag in my design, I purposely left the ends of the flag in pieces that would float into creating something else, perhaps something even better than the America I grew up with. An America that doesn’t see color, discontinues the use of the word race (as it relates to the color of one’s skin) and works more like a community of people who take care of each other rather than stepping on one another. This country could be the example, the places other places look up to rather than down on and seen as the laughing stock of the world.

No matter how many times we build and it falls down or falls to decay, we have to build again. No matter how many times we fall we get up again. Even when we can’t do it physically, we do it mentally. But sometimes, it’s not a matter of just doing it again. It’s doing it differently from a completely different perspective that keeps us moving forward instead of backwards or standing still.

Construction paper, glue stick, mod podge. This was made to go in a plastic coffee mug.

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