Straddling Oceans

 "Straddling Oceans" 

March 20th - May 6th 2023

Community Folk Art Center

Madness rests in the corners of the minds of


truth alone brings light to the shadows

releases words beating against gapped teeth

animates calloused fingers to sew, write, paint

unchains the eternal dance of weary feet


must tell their stories

 lest the cellular ghosts of ocean voyages haunt us

the racism of micro-macro aggressions and oppressions defeat us

the killing of unarmed black men, women, and children suspend sanity

forced poverty and food deserts starve us

Griots must Tell truth

every day 

every hour

 every moment


reclaim censored histories

link the past to the future

African and African-American 

it is the glorious and dangerous responsibility of


to stand naked in the blood of our histories

Straddling Oceans

Straddling Time

"Kente Spirit" - Mixed Media Quilt 2023 

"Winnie Mandela" Mixed Media Quilt 2015

"Pan Africa Me!" Mixed Media Quilt 2015

"What My Mother Taught Me I Am Still Learning" - Mixed Media Quilt 2015

The Middle Passage - #3"  Mixed Media Quilt - 2023 

“The First Birth”

She lifted her hand to the sky, seeking divine guidance. She was alone and it was time. The baby had rolled and dropped downward into position. Its tiny but insistent feet kicked a rhythm against the bottom of her belly, keeping time to its mother’s heart. Boom, boom boom boom! Boom, boom boom boom! She was sure that it was a girl.

It was time to birth the world. This first birth that would populate a whole planet. This first birth that would spread its DNA north, south, east, and west. This eternal birth that would repeat again and again down through infinite generations.

Hot pain shot through her and she closed her eyes, screaming in agony. As she began to fall, she felt an arm wrap around her. She opened her eyes, squinting at the bright warm light that engulfed her. The wind of the angel’s wings cooled her. A whisper comforted her fear; “You are not alone.”

Mixed Media Quit: Repurposed African dress, repurposed quilt background, cotton cloth from U.S. and Ghana, glass beads from Ghana, dress trim.

"Ancestral Flow" mixed media 2017 

Talking Houses - "Lil' Brother" Mixed Media 2023 

"The Shield" - Mixed Media Quilt 2023 

Talking Houses - "Tasting Home" 2023 

"High John the Conqueror" - Mixed Media Quilt - 2006 

“High John the Conqueror”

He was the original Superman. At first a Spirit, flying among the sails of the relentless traffic of slave ships on the Middle Passage to hell, High John the Conqueror hid his voice in the wind translating the various languages of those chained below.  Gave courage for survival of the unsurvivable.  Whispered plans for numerous revolts. Sang prayers for the dead.  Once in America, High John became a natural man, walking the plantations of this land of slavery.  He became a trickster, appearing out of the blue.  Convincing the slavers to give just a little more food to those starving under plantation labor. High John stopped the lashings, healed the sick, aided in the Freedom Takers escape. At the end of the Civil War, High John transformed into a root.  And in the ground High John the Conquer Root waits until his people need him again. 

Batik create by the artist, dyed cotton, cloth, fabric from Ghana, street metal, glass beads Ghana, metal beads, cowrie shells, soil from Ghana, archival ink