“Time is a carousel,” my friend texted. We were talking about how it seems like the 1960s have come back. We have people protesting for Civil Rights, police brutality, social unrest. “Time is a carousel,” she said. “It all comes back around.” I looked at Matilda on my wall and wondered if perhaps my carousel horse paintings could take on a deeper meaning. Also, if the issues of the 1960s are circling back around, let’s hope it’s a chance to set things right, because in that decade of unrest, growing pains, and progress, we did leave so much undone. I found an article about the integration of the Glen Echo Park, which included a picture from the 1960s of Black children finally getting to ride the carousel. I decided to use it as inspiration for today’s painting – to depict one kid in color, with a face mask, a Black Lives Matter sign and quarantine hair, the other in black and white enjoying cotton candy and a ride on a newly integrated carousel.
I can’t even begin to express my sadness over how, so many decades later systemic racism has not been eradicated. We have to all speak up against it. I am particularly sad over the murder of George Floyd and so many other innocent people. I’m hoping that this time around there will be meaningful change. I believe we can create a just society with real equality for all.