Lift Hope High! is the final painting in the Transforming Injustice! Watercolor Series.
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My inspiration for this painting comes from a photo taken by Adrees Latif of Reuters on June 8, 2020. At a candlelight vigil honoring George Floyd, the photographer captured an image that depicted small lights of hope lifted up by local residents and alumni of Houston’s Yates High School.
Cornell West has said, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Indeed! I see in the people depicted in this image the kind of love that led them to gather as one community, expressing their love for their community and a longing for “Beloved Community.”*
In this image, the sky is filled with ominous dark clouds. Yet there is light that that peeks through to help us remember that hope abides. Hope is veiled at times, hidden from those who need light most. The people in the image are holding up tiny lights. They doing this together, near one another, raising the light as one people. We cannot see the color of their skin, but it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they are lifting lights of hope — together. Perhaps when we lift lights of hope together, it will be just enough light to illuminate the next step in our quest for racial justice.
May the God of justice make it so!