Cast Bronze, 2007
12" X 14" X 28"
She was beaten and led to shore in a procession of pitiful humanity. The scars on her body were a mixture of tribal identification and slavedriver lashings that blended together and formed crosspatterns on her smooth bluish-gray flesh. Her knowledge of who she was and where she came from was still intact. The only thing that shook her foundation was the realization that human beings could be so cruel toward one another and that the maltreatment of their captives was unwarranted. Though she was forced into the hold or the belly of this gigantic blood-soaked vessel, she held the memories of Africa within every cell of her being. When she closed her eyes, she imagined the sweet-smellling vegetation that seemed to grow from within and around herself. It was as if she had experienced leaves and vines silently attaching themselves to her skin as she walked through the jungle growth of her homeland.
What is this strange land she was brought to? Who were these men with their white masks who stared with expressions of both fear and triumph? So many of her fellow captives had perished in the shark-filled waters of the seemingly endless ocean. She asked herself, how did some survive, and some did not? Were they a superior spiritual people? Did they wear the amulet of Ogun or have protection of a grisgris? And sadly, she thought, who were those whose lives were sacrificed? She questioned so much of life, and its meaning.
She stands tall and upright as a survivor, poised, with head up, chest forward, carrying the broken chain whose links symbolize the years of her life as well as the liberty of those who will come after her.