What have we lost, who do we mourn, what needs repair?
What have we gained, where have connections deepened, who have we cared for or stood with, how are we reimagining a world beyond?
As we enter a season of transition, there is a collective desire to reflect on our losses, mourn, and express gratitude and hope.
Inspired by the beautiful traditions of the sacred trees of Buddhism, Lakota and Cherokee prayer ties, Scottish clootie wells, and the numerous places and cultures from China and Iraq to Brazil and Japan that mark mourning and healing by tying ribbons to a tree, Yellow House is co-creating a space for grief and hope; dark and light; shadow and shine.
Starting December 19, just days before the Winter Solstice, all are welcome to stop by Yellow House where we will have ribbons and the tools to use to add thoughts, words, elegies, prayers, or wishes to the Community Tree. This will be outdoors only and available, drop in style, during daylight hours for the weeks and months to come. Strands of shadow, ribbons of light will mingle in and on the tree that graces the front lawn of Yellow House. Offerings will be both held and released into this ancient symbol of life, strength, reverence, and renewal in an ever-evolving statement about this remarkable year.
Centered in the space, right on the building, is a newly created work of poetry by Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams titled “The Reckoning Line Between Shadow and Shine”. It is a poem of this moment and created expressly for this space that our communities will build together.
For those unable to make it to our corner of the world to add to and sit beneath the tree, they are welcome to send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the words they want to add to this community exhale. We will add it … with care. And, for groups or families who want to participate, we will deliver materials.
As we commemorate 60 years since the sit-in demonstrations, led by university students and youth members of the NAACP across the country and in Jacksonville, we also remember the violent white-led backlash on August 27, 1960 that erupted in our city and became known as Ax Handle Saturday. It was a pivotal moment in the march towards desegregation in a community ripe with racism and ready for change. This powerful history is especially poignant at this moment of national reckoning following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the constant drumbeat of violence and oppression against Black people in America.
The tradition of political posters is a rich one and whether plastered on brick walls, carried in marches, or distributed to storefronts, posters have informed process, incited change, motivated progress, and made visible the voice of the people. This exhibition invited artists across our community to respond to the current calls for racial justice and recognize the historic importance of the sit-in demonstrations and violent backlash that was Ax Handle Saturday, the 60th anniversary of which will be commemorated in late August. We will continue to add submissions to this visual record during the summer and fall, so check back often. If you would like to submit a poster, you can find out more about that process HERE.
Magic, Mirth, and Mortality:
Musings on Black Motherhood
Joy. Fear. Guilt. Generational connection. Grief. Deep love. These are only a few of the complex emotions experienced by all mothers. ‘Magic, Mirth, and Mortality: Musings on Black Motherhood’ is an exhibition inspired by the lived experiences of writer Shawana Brooks and the ‘motherhood musings’ written and shared during her pregnancy and an extended stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Her words are shown alongside visual art by Tatiana Kitchen, Marsha Hatcher, and Cheryl McCain.