Guest author: The Familiar Tale of Race, Power, Privilege and black life in America

Here is an entry I did post a PD/workshop I co-lead in relation to art education NOW & #blacklivesmatter.


Art Education at City College of New York

IMG_8122Author Tiffany Jones reflects on the recent Teaching Art Today: #BlackLivesMatter Teach in held at the New Museum on March 19, 2015.

Teaching art today is an opportunity to discuss life and all its complexities, while providing an outlet and the skills for students to communicate a message. Art provides students with a pathway to healing, empowerment and advocacy. Art makes their thoughts visual thereby making the artist visible, hard to ignore. Therefore as art educators I invite us to be agents of change, who explore hard issues like race in our space of learning.

So where to start?
Breathe! Self-care is imperative. Be mindful of yourself and your limits. Acknowledge
that race is a social construct that produces, informs and sustains a long list of social
injustices like police brutality. Race is a Goliath and it’s not only your task to address it.

It’s a social issue. So…

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A Note from the Journey.

I saw his face when the crowd ran towards him. Was told he was stabbed. I cant lose another child. A sigh of release when I saw his face. He is ok. for now? 

He came to visit me today in Art class. He doesn’t have Art anymore and isn’t happy about it. He stands tall. I am up to his armpit. We laugh. He sits down on my stoll. We are facing the entire class. They are creating logos.

He lays his head on my shoulder. We stay in that position. I can feel his heart beat. I lay my head on top of his. How are you my child? I am tired Tiffany. I can’t believe he’s gone. I am tired too. I know what tired you are. You know I love you right. You’re my special baby like Raphael. You love us trouble makers huh Tiffany? You trouble makers need the most love. smiles and warmth. He lays on my shoulder in silence. 

A student asks for help. Can’t you see we having a moment. I giggle. Stop it be nice. He doesn’t move. I answer the request for a logo edit. He moves. I love you Sean. I love you Tiffany. 

Last 5 mintues of class. Review of the day, deadlines and now it time for the next class. I love you all come back to me in one piece. They leave. Some with hugs. 

Tears fall down my face as I remember stories and visions of my child. Smiles. Show them his sketchbook. 

They make me laugh. They know me the best. Blessed. A mom and sister as best friends.