Pastel, image transfer on board
30" x 26"
One morning, I was reading an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about the Charleston Church shooting. It made me contemplate society’s use of ethnic and racial labels. The article quoted a family member of one of the victims telling the shooter he was forgiven. That act of compassion gave me a sense of hope for our country. I felt a connection with this racially motivated shooting because people often ask my ethnicity. My answer is usually, “I am a mutt; a blend of Spanish, African-American and Taino Indians who inhabited Puerto Rico.” In this painting, I used that newspaper article as I examine issues of race, diversity and hope and how it relates to my identity as a Puerto Rican woman in the United States. The inability to recognize and embrace the strength brought by diversity can lead to ignorance and fear.