Image rights: Sophia Dawson
These paintings recreate, through art, the spirit of the women of the Young Lords. They were conceived over the course of numerous conversations with the women of the Young Lords and the exhibit’s curators. The personal accounts that these conversations elicited brimmed with these women’s commitment to the Young Lords’ highest ideals for a better world. The depth of mutual love and respect that the women of the Young Lords exhibited for one another in these exchanges capture the sense of “sisterhood” that emerged in tandem with the women’s movement of 1960s.
Dawson has intentionally crafted each painting in layers to portray the theme “The Revolution within the Revolution.” While the Young Lords Organization was determined to effect change within its own community, the very women and men of the organization were forced to confront the need for transformation within each individual and within the organization as a whole.
Each of the three Dawson paintings was inspired by the photography of Michael Abramson. Photographs that depicted women at the forefront of the movement were selected with the goal of conveying the roles women assumed in building the organization and defending its best highest aspirations.
Contrasting black and white pigment, with tinted and stained newspaper-like collage seemed especially well suited for portraits of these oft-forgotten women. We hope these portraits will inspire the new generation of activists coming to political consciousness to continue their legacy. For in each piece, if the viewer looks deep enough, is conveyed the values embraced by the women of the Young Lords: loyalty, honesty, integrity and an unflinching determination to change society.
About Sophia Dawson
Jamaican, b. 1981, Brooklyn, NY, United States, based in Brooklyn, NY, United States