21. Yellow Black White. The Power of Interconnectedness. The Power of Transcendence. The Power of Black and White. This is yet another one that I want to say speaks for itself. There are so many ways to read those words that I don’t even want to offer my own interpretation. Maybe that’s a cop out, but the truth is that I am just tired. Literally sick and tired. For the last week. During a pandemic. A low fever hovering between 99.5-101°F. Fatigue. Intermittent shortness of breath. I got tested on Day One of my symptoms, which I later learned is too early. It came back negative. On Day Six I got tested again, twice, actually (long story). I await results, and remain sick and in doubt, questioning my own symptoms because of what a test told me. I had never considered that part of dealing with COVID-19 could be determining whether you have it. But false negatives abound. So do anecdotes. I’m not afraid of my own immune response here anymore, I’m afraid of infecting my loved ones and beyond. But it’s almost impossible to isolate myself from my family with two young children. All week I have been grasping for answers, but it seems there is no black and white with this virus. Oh, but there is. In the United States, Black populations are 5 times more likely to be hospitalized for Covid-19 than white populations. The same is true for Native American populations. Latinx populations are 4 times more likely to be hospitalized. I may never get conclusive answers about what virus I have, but I am at this point reasonably hopeful that I am getting better and will not have to be hospitalized. This virus reminds us how simultaneously connected and separate we are. It is bringing the world together and ripping communities apart. Or maybe it is ripping the world apart and bringing communities together. Maybe both. Viruses may technically be blind but the systemic inequalities that organize the humans they infect are not. You can’t transcend color if it’s killing you.
20. Yellow Purple. When you’re too worried about how something is going to look, you’re not going to do as good of a job. Leaving the house more means I need more than two masks. The only usable mask fabric I seem to have lying around is neon yellow. I do have some greenscreen-colored fabric, but somehow it feels like that is copyrighted by @ssyjuco (which I know it isn’t for so very many reasons, but the feeling and deference remains). Either way, her prolific mask production led me to the Deaconess pattern which is easy to make if hard to keep consistent and has done us pretty well. Search for “deaconess mask pattern” and you’ll find it. No matter how simple the pattern, stop-motioning the process meant I still fucked this one up. You can’t tell from these pictures, but after taking them (and you can see the shutter release button on my watch throughout the animation) I had to rip out the seams on all the pleats because one side was way less scrunched than the other. I didn’t photograph that part so I wouldn’t keep messing it up. Like I said: when you’re too worried about how something is going to look—like when you are documenting something for the purpose of sharing it on social media—you are not going to do as good of a job. Sound familiar? (Swipe for more text on that topic 📄) Yellow purple. The power of wisdom and self-knowledge. The power of presence. Saying yes to mindfully shutting up and showing up.
19. Yellow Blue. The Power of Communication. Just like Yellow Green and the Power of Love, this is showing up everywhere right now as people fill the streets and the airwaves with demands to defend Black lives and dismantle white supremacy. So, you tell me how the power of communication is showing up for you. And if you want to hear it, I’ll tell you a story. Swipe the images to read it. Rest in Power: Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michelle Cusseaux, Laquan McDonald, George Mann, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Matthew Ajibade, Frank Smart, Natasha McKenna, Tony Robinson, Anthony Hill, Mya Hall, Phillip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, William Chapman II, Alexia Christian, Brendon Glenn, Victor Manuel Larosa, Jonathan Sanders, Freddie Blue, Joseph Mann, Salvado Ellswood, Sandra Bland, Albert Joseph Davis, Darrius Stewart, Billy Ray Davis, Samuel Dubose, Michael Sabbie, Brian Keith Day, Christian Taylor, Troy Robinson, Asshams Pharoah Manley, Felix Kumi, Keith Harrison McLeod, Junior Prosper, Lamontez Jones, Paterson Brown, Domnic Hutchinson, Anthony Ashford, Alonzo Smith, Tyree Crawford, India Kager, La’Vante Biggs, Michael Lee Marshall, Jamar Clark, Richard Perkins, Nathaniel Harris Pickett, Benni Lee Tignor, Miguel Espinal, Michael Noel, Kevin Matthews, Bettie Jones, Quintonio Legrier, Keith Childress Jr., Janet Wilson, Randy Nelson, Antronie Scott, Wendell Celestine, David Joseph, Calin Roquemore, Dyzhawn Perkins, Christopher Davis, Marco Loud, Peter Gaines, Torrey Robinson, Darius Robinson, Kevin Hicks, Mary Truxillo, Demarcus Semer, Willie Tillman, Terrill Thomas, Sylville Smith, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Paul O’Neal, Alteria Woods, Jordan Edwards, Aaron Bailey, Ronell Foster, Stephon Clark, Antwon Rose II, Botham Jean, Pamela Turner, Dominique Clayton, Atatiana Jefferson, Christopher Whitfield, Christopher McCorvey, Eric Reason, Michael Lorenzo Dean, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, & George Floyd. Say their names. Type their names.
18. Yellow Green. Well, yellow is power and green is love. The Power of Love. The number 18 symbolizes Life, from the numerology of the Hebrew word “chai” (with a guttural “ch”). So. What do we have to learn about the power of love and life right now? I keep thinking of the quotation from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Protest is an act of collective love. Darkness and hate may not be the right approach, but neither are light and love mutually exclusive from anger and action. So keep your eyes and your heart open. Especially now from home as a white person, it is so much easier for me to retreat. To use the excuse that my voice won’t make an impact anyway. It is scary to speak. I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing and getting called out, as if embarrassment caused me lasting harm. It is a privilege to fear only social discomfort. But being truly anti-racist will take a healthy dose of getting the fuck over it. Again and again. So I will take a deep breath (because I can) and do the work. There are incredible activist organizations sharing the love and rage, follow them and what they tell you to do: @mvmnt4blklives @colorofchange @blackfutureslab @showingupforracialjustice @antipoliceterrorproject @gather4justice @culturestrike, and in Minneapolis, @reclaimtheblock.
17. Yellow Yellow. Here is a performance of planning with post-it notes, in what turned out to be ultimately a form of procrastination. I don’t really recommend manually stop-motioning any process that you otherwise want to be efficient, or useful for that matter. Procrastination is the shadow side of Yellow, which embodies its opposite: Will Power. Confidence. Action. Yes. When I procrastinate, it is often because I am subconsciously scared to work on something. Right now I am scared to plan. For many obvious reasons, and for many that have always been there. What happens if something goes wrong? What happens if everything goes wrong? What happens if I dream too big and fail? Don’t let worry stop you from first stating what you want. If you don’t know what you are aiming for, how could you possibly get there? (Full text in images 📄)
16. Yellow Orange. The power of creation. Saying yes to creativity. Not knowing the answer and doing it anyway. Claiming the title of Artist, with no qualifier. (Sound on 🔈 Text with images 📄)