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  • Writer's pictureChristine "Liz" LaRue


Image by Christine "Liz" Larue

As we go into this new year with so many things tugging at us - book banning of African American literature, polarizing political viewpoints, that next fad diet to lose says, AGAIN?

Some of us older folks have been this way many times. In our families, we have Jim Crow stories of survival. I remember seeing signs that said "No Negroes allowed" as a child in the 1960's. I remember going through grammar school and seeing no books with images of characters resembling me and my friends. All little blonde kids. No children with skin tones of mahogany, tawny browns, olive skins with freckles.

Then the Civil Rights movement hit, and everything got thrown up against the wall like so many protesters wishing for Black equality. We thought we had solved those issues. But no, we haven't. In a last-ditch effort to support white supremacy, vast swaths of our society are reveling in leaders who lie, twist, and turn our wish for equality into something that shouldn't be. They are forcing the abandoning of diversity through book banning, vote destroying, and denying the roles of Black folks in American history.

Yet, at a time of great upheaval, we see movies that have come out that revel in our struggles. Movies like "Black Panther," "Harriet," "Color Purple - a Musical," and Ava DuVernay's "Origin." Comic book boundaries broke during the pandemic when Marvel Comics had their first Afro-Latina female draw her own magazine. Our Native American brothers and sisters had a monumental movie pointing out the evils of white supremacy targeting the Osage tribe - "Killers of the Flower Moon," now one of the best movies of 2023. The truths are coming out!

So, at a time when political machinations against Black folks seem to be rising, our images are coming fast and furious (yeah, that movie, too!) More Black authors are writing and publishing than ever before. So take heart. Hold firm. Delight in these images that quickly come out in books, TV, movies, and the internet. Those forces trying to bring back a new Jim Crow cannot hold back the tide of "us"! A book may be banned, but the idea of Black folks being here and now cannot be dismissed.

There's a Buddhist saying that goes, "Winter Always turns into Spring." Yes...that's us. The more forces try to hold us back, the more we continue to step forward into view, becoming larger and larger, filling a wider worldview.

Now, about that diet? Keep working at it for the New Year. You WILL find one that works for you!


Christine LaRue

Artist Bio

Christine “Liz” LaRue is a clay artist and illustrationist. She is known for her intricately textured figurative sculptures and emotionally illustrative drawings. Chicago born though also raised in Utah and Idaho, Ms. LaRue is of Creole/Cuban descent. Her art has been influenced by her Afro-Latino heritage. Ms. LaRue’s interests have been in pre-Columbian art of the Olmec, Maya of Mexico, Nazca, and Moche face pots of Peru. This also includes the bronze sculptures of the Ife of Nigeria and Tā Moko tattoo art of the Maōri.


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Jan 05

Thank you for the thoughtful reflection. For those of us who strive for justice we can be heartened by how much has been attained and challenged by how much there is yet to do.


Brian in Wisonsin

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