The title of this painting is, “For Annie Mae,1975”
I didn’t know what this would be when it started out, I only had one canvas left and when I pulled it out, I saw there was a hole in it. I wasn’t going to let it go to waste, so I just said a prayer and started painting. While I am attached to all my pieces, this one evokes a lot of emotion for me. It was born while I was listening to Buffy, (of course.) And now, I cannot have this painting within my eye sight while her song, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” is playing, or I will cry. I considered putting the important lyrics onto the painting, but didn’t and I’ll tell you why.
I know what I am talking about. I KNOW who Annie Mae is/was. She is one thread of the tapestry that is my life, one more bloodline that genetically ties me to my Indigenous sisters who all make up our Nation. She is part of my embedded history, her story(ies) flow through my daughters veins, DNA and heart as well. Granted, she is one part of the whole, but still a vital part. This is my reality, my knowledge; and I forget there are far too many people who don’t know who she is, that is exasperating to me, Because everyone really should. Not just because of what happened to her, but because of the greater story. For those who have been my long time readers you will recall that in one of my LAAH articles I wrote: “You can NEVER have a RIGHT NOW, because there will ALWAYS be, a before.” And I see those befores*, I know them, I feel them, I see the metaphorical hoop of the world, of our Indigenous History, (which honestly should be EVERYONE’s history; because the minute one person crossed that boundary with violence or genocide, murder or appropriation, our histories became joined. Period.
So yes, everyone should know about her, know about all the myriad issues that were going on, hell they are being repeated RIGHT NOW. Indigenous history and issues should be as common knowledge as where the nearest Wal-Mart is, or what the latest hit song on the radio is.
But that isn’t how it is, so I didn’t put the lyrics on the painting. I think it should serve as a nudge for everyone to find the answers themselves. Google is available everywhere, it’s 2017, in this day and age, ignorance is a choice.
Make a new choice.
*Befores IS a Mary word.