No longer silent

I was born in South Carolina.

I lived in different towns there until I was about 9 years old.

I remember many things about my time there. Like sitting in pews under the watchful eyes of kind friends while my Momma and Daddy sang at different churches. The kindness of a certain man and his wife who helped my parents out when our car needed fixing and we didn’t have enough money to take it to the garage. I still remember the way that couple who, to most folks would appear rough around the edges, were so sweet to my brother and I. I can still smell the scent of a favorite five and dime store where they sold the best Icees. Y’all, they were just the thing to cut through the heavy weight of a Southern summer afternoon.

I remember learning to dance the Reebok and the Coca-Cola dances with the daughters of the lady who watched me and my brother. Her name was Sandra, pronounced Sah-ndra. I can still see her combing out her daughter’s beautiful soft, soft hair with that pink wide-toothed comb while she simultaneously kept control of the rest of the children in her house. She and her family were the first people of color I’d ever been up close and personal with. I still think of Ms. Sandra and her strong, smart daughters.

I remember kindness, yes.

But I also remember tension and hate.

 

The town we lived in before we moved back to North Carolina to be closer to my parents’ families were still having KKK marches. In the mid 1980’s. I’m not sure why that still blows my mind. I guess I thought those were a thing of the past…I hoped they were a thing of the past.

But they weren’t. As a little girl who spent quite a bit of time in church and with parents who frequently talked about loving one another as Christ loves us…well, I was flummoxed. And horrified.

I still am.

But I got older and I became lax in guarding my mind and heart against thoughts and perspectives that went against what I had been taught about loving my neighbors.

Over the last couple of years I’ve become acutely and uncomfortably aware of that failing. In that process of realizing my need for change, I’ve been very fortunate to come in contact with some awesome folks who are diligently sharing a wealth of information and opening their hearts, sometimes even painfully, to share their perspective on racism.

I recently read a post by Deidra Riggs entitled, For Those Who Are New to the Conversation.

As I was reading Deidra’s powerful words a paragraph leaped out at me:

So, let me say this. Churches can get all up in arms about who gets to speak and to teach and proclaim truth from the pulpit. They want a certain gender or ethnicity or language or educational level or theological degree or sexual orientation to speak to them in hushed tones that sound good and that don’t rock their personal boat. But, when the Church abdicates its responsibility to speak truth to power and to utter words that turn over tables in our hearts and that call for justice and radical love and an end to excuses about racism in this country, well, I believe that’s why God gave us the Internet. That’s why God gave you a dining room table and a blog and a Facebook page and a Twitter account. You are the called. You are the chosen. You are God’s messenger in a world of Christians who can’t seem to get their act together.

Oh, wow, did those truth-saturated words grab me. I kept reading them over and over with a pounding heart. I knew that this was the permission I needed…permission I didn’t even know I was waiting for.

Permission to speak out against racism.

The permission to admit that I’ve had racist thoughts before. 

Yep, you read that right. Oh, I never used the N-word (I get nauseous when I hear it no matter who says it) or used any hateful behavior, but there was a definite “us and them” division in my thinking.

As I began to actively seek out more about the history of persons of color in our country, I realized what I’d thought of as a personal naïveté was more along the lines of gross ignorance. My mindset, my world, was narrow and skewed. I had a problem.

I realized that if I didn’t allow Christ to work in my heart to correct those thoughts, I could BE the problem.

Isn’t there a saying about the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem?

So I sat, read, and listened to the voices of color in my life. I learned. I’m *still* doing those things and I will continue to so I can share those lessons with my children as they grow.

I know in my personal journey towards racial healing, to promote it,  I won’t always get it right. I’m petrified of making a mistake, of offending, of doing damage to the work so many others have fought to do.

But you know what?

I’m more petrified of remaining silent.

 


A few of the Voices who speak about racism and racial reconciliation better than I do:

A’Driane Nieves

Caris Adel

Deidra Riggs

Outside the City Gate

Lisha Epperson

Alia Joy


 

I understand everyone may not share my views. That’s okay. This is simply me sharing my journey. If you feel the need to comment, please keep it respectful. I feel silly even having to type that, but I know topics concerning race are capable of conjuring strong feelings. It’s a strong topic after all.

Love, though, is stronger. Remember that, dear ones. The greatest of these is love.

 

Blessings,

Anna K.

Speak | art journal, Anna K. Originals

Speak: An Art Journal Response

Phthalo Blue and Carbon black.

That’s how this art journal layout started yesterday evening. I needed the comfort of paint and the mixture of those two colors makes me happy.

The news of the Duggar family’s inability to properly handle child molestation perpetrated by their son – and the resulting fallout as people voiced their opinions – left me shaken and, in some moments, enraged. You see, I am related to and am friends with more than a few people whose lives were forever changed by sexual abuse. It’s a sensitive subject for me and for some of those close to me.

As the inky blue hue puddled and dripped down my pages, that were now becoming a response to the horror and degradation that is sexual abuse, words screamed in my head and heart. The more I tried to string them together to form a coherent thought, the more frazzled I became.

So I stopped trying.

I painted.

I prayed.

After a while, the roar of my thoughts faded until one word remained: SPEAK

Speak, art journal detail photo | Anna K. Originals

 

Silence is an abuser’s best friend.
Speaking out is a victim’s greatest power.

 

 

Speak, art journal pages detail photo | Anna K Originals  {free vintage photo from www.barebranchblooming.com}

What about the hearts who can’t yet speak out? Who speaks for them?

You and I do.

Proverbs 31:8

“Speak up for the people who have no voice,
    for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
    Stand up for the poor and destitute!”


Freebie Friday | Bare Branch Blooming

The vintage photo in this layout I found at my friend, Christine Hiester’s site, Bare Branch Blooming, in one of her Freebie Friday posts. Click the photo to the left to see all of her Freebie Friday posts where she offers free vintage illustrations and photographs for you to use in your art.

For the photo I used in my Speak art journal pages, click HERE.

 

 

 

Blessings!

Anna K.


 

If you, or someone you know, needs help:

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline

 

How to create custom Pinterest board covers | Anna K. Originals

Custom Pinterest Board Covers

 Hey, y’all! I’m going to show you how I created artsy, custom Pinterest board covers on my iPad.

I’m also including a tutorial video about how to use Canva on a desktop for this. Woot!

I used two apps on my iPad to create my custom Pinterest board covers:

Both are free to download, though they do offer in-app purchases.

 

 

Paper 53 iPad App Screenshot | Anna K. Originals Tutorial

{screenshot collage of opening and using Paper53 on my iPad}

  • Open Paper by FiftyThree app, then draw your illustration. (Have fun!)
  • Take a screenshot of your finished illustration by holding the power and home buttons down at the same time.

 


  • Open your Canva for iPad app, then select the Presentation design template.
  • Tap “Uploads” on the left of your screen, then tap “Photos”.
  • Select the screenshot of your illustration.
  • Tap the Filter option and increase the brightness of your screenshot until the background matches the white of your design template.
  • Now tap the Crop option to crop your screenshot. When it’s the size you need, tap the check mark.

From there the design is up to you!

You can add text and other design elements to your board cover design by exploring the options on the left-hand side of the Canva design screen.

  • When you’re ready to download your design, tap “Download” on the top right-hand side of your design screen.
  • Tap the “Tap here to clear your downloads” if you’ve previously downloaded another design. If not, tap “Send image to…” to save it to your camera roll.

 

Canva iPad App Screenshot | Anna K. Originals Tutorial

{screenshot of downloading a finished Canva creation}


  • Open your Pinterest app. Go to your page by tapping the little person icon at the bottom of your screen.
  • Tap the plus sign at the top right-hand side of your screen.
  • Pin from Photos.
  • Select your design, then tap “Pin it”.
  • Add a description and select the board you want to add it to.
  • To change your board cover, tap “Edit” at the bottom of the board, then tap “Board cover”
  • Choose your design, then tap “Save” at the top right of the Edit menu.

Ta-Da! Your very own custom Pinterest Board Cover!

Blessings!

Anna K.

{I was in no way reimbursed for sharing about my adoration of  Paper by FiftyThree, Canva, or Dropbox. I’m just passing along a bit of knowledge!}