Voice and power.
So when we come here, we're talking about things that really matter.
We're talking about things that hurt people.
We're talking about things that help people.
Having an art community for people of color and youth of color specifically is a huge gap that Albany seems to miss a lot.
Amplified Voices was kind of fueled by passion and anger, passion for me wanting to help in my community, anger at white artists kind of gentrifying spaces that I thought should be upheld for Black artists considering that this is a civil rights movement involving mostly Black people and people of color.
Arts and crafts is what we think arts is in school, but healing and wellness is the most important aspect of teaching art.
How do we communicate what's going on in our head?
How do we express what we're feeling?
For the workshop that I facilitated, I really wanted the kids to generate their own ideas.
So I asked a lot of questions.
What is an activist?
What is an artist?
What is poetry?
I wanted them to like reach out into their imagination with language and have the language kind of ground them in what messages we wanted to convey in the mural.
You see the hand coming out of the ground.
Our ancestors tel We have to make the world differ before people make it different in the wrong way.
If you are speaking on behalf of a community, maybe they should be included in the conversation too.
Everyone had a part in the community of saying what the mural was going to be.
Every aspect of the mural has an intention.
The roots leading up to Black freedom and those roots having words.
What about people who just passed due to like the movement and stuff like that?
Who were like a cause in movemen kind of like George Floyd and stuff like that.
Everything that the adults are saying in these riots and these protests, these children were also saying it.
This is their neighborhood.
And there are a lot of political and social issues that are going on that can be overshadowed by adults.
You don't have to be an adult to be an activist.
I've been through a lot in my young age.
Whenever I was not in the mood to talk to anybo I'd be able to express my art on paper.
Black freedom means to me, no matter what color, race, you should be able to walk around the streets without having to be threatened I would like my community to know about me And like people like me is that we're all our own people and we're all, like, strong in what we do.
And to not judge a book by its cover, People think kids are too young to know anything and that they don't really know that much about stuff that's happening in the world.
But like we really do.
I think it's important to amplify young Black and brown voices because we have a lot of important things to say and people can learn from what we say.
When people see the mural, I really want them to feel hope.
Without hope, there can be no change.
Without hope, people give up and we can't give up right now.
What we need to do is keep fighting.
I think having something like this may be a breath of fresh air.
I hope all these kids go away feeling that their lives matter and that they can use art as a device for activism.
If I ruled the world, I'd be the girl that I was meant to be.
I'd care for more than what's right in front of me.
I would make it so people can express themselves as much or as little as they want.
I would change the things that set us apart.
I would make a difference with my art.
I would want no one to be judged for what they do, look or act.
I'd speak with the voice God gave me and the body in which He shaped me.
For those who couldn't before me and the kids who couldn't afford to.
Everyone would be happy, not worrying about what they are doing.
I'd make my mama proud by helping the crowd.
I would rid the world of hate in hope that things might change.
There'd be laughter and happiness if I ruled the world.