Powerful & Brave Artist Nona Faustine Simmons
New York has a reputation for being a melting pot, but it also has a strong history of slave trading. For her photo series, White Shoes, artist Nona Faustine wanted to call attention to that history and its enduring legacy – blackgirllonghair
In my opinion this is just a powerful woman, it take guts to do something like this.. I applaud and respect her – Deborah LB. I bring you my internet invisible friend.. Nona Faustine.. Read what she is all about!
I first came upon Nona on Instagram after following a link, I was immediately moved by her work . How can I describe her but in just one word. “POWERFUL” , Her photographs and her writings are one of a kind. There was one other person that I felt like this about, and it was Maya Angelou. Click and read more , then go to her website and read some more.. What a POWERFUL and BRAVE Woman.
Slavery was introduced to Manhattan (then New Amsterdam) in 1626 and, for two centuries, remained a significant part of New York life. In fact, the New York City Common Council declared Wall Street the city’s first official slave market on December 13, 1711, deeming it a space where human beings could be enslaved for the day or for the week. The slave market took the shape of a wooden structure with open sides, and held approximately 50 people at a time. It operated as such, on the corner of Wall Street and Pearl Street in the heart of the Financial District, until 1762. Slavery was legally abolished in New York in 1827.
Wall Street’s odious history has since been covered up, while New York’s reputation as a space of diversity and inclusion continues to blossom. But what remains of this 200-year period of discrimination, oppression and hate? What residue remains caked to the skeleton of the place, beneath the sky-high buildings and engorged American flags? – The Huffington Post
“Standing at Wall Street at the exact spot where they sold Native and African men, women, and children 150 years ago, I wasn’t able to feel any of the horrific sorrow and pain of the activities that once went on there,” Faustine explained to The Huffington Post. “Perhaps it was a defense mechanism that wouldn’t allow me to tap into that for fear of crumbling. What I did feel was the energy of New York City, an incredible force. There I found myself at the curtain of time between two eras, past and present. I went into a deep reflection.”
Visiting these sites, Faustine added, does feel spiritual at times. “My eyes are wide open, and still I’m there and not there. My body is pumping with adrenaline. My anxiety is extremely high. During all that, you filter out as much abstractions as possible so that you can maintain some sort of composure for the camera as people, cars and buses go by. My senses are elevated. Sounds in particular I hone into. I have this feeling of being watched, by something or someone not actually there at times. I’m extremely aware of my presence in these places.”
All writings and images are not mY own, but belong to The Huffington Post and Nona Faustine Simmons.