Where does your imagination fly to escape?
Where is your child’s magical place?
Everyone, children included need a place to call their own and to mentally recharge especially now during a pandemic.
Everyone needs a place to mentally escape even if it is just for a few minutes at a time. Lately, my place to mentally unwind has been watching the sunrise by the George Washington Bridge. NYC artist and author Faith Ringgold’s childhood escape was also the GWB. In her beautifully crafted first children’s book Tar Beach, African American Cassie Lightfoot dreams she can fly on top of her black tar roof as it transforms into a beach and she claims the George Washington Bridge next to her Harlem home as her own. This is the story of Cassie’s hopes and dreams as well as her way of overcoming obstacles that all children can relate to.
You can see the Guggenheim’s photos of the quilt here: https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/3719
Faith Ringgold is an African American artist, NYC teacher, and civil rights advocate who first created her story using a quilt to tell her story the same way that African American slaves had used quilts as guides to freedom during the Civil War. Her great, great, great grandmother had been a slave on a southern plantation who made quilts for plantation owners. Ringgold was born in 1930 and grew up in Harlem dreaming about claiming the George Washington Bridge as her own. Her father wasn’t allowed to join the union to work on the bridge because he was African American. Tar Beach was Ringgold’s childhood escape. Great children’s books are a bridge into our kid’s worlds to help them navigate this difficult time.
You can see an interview with Faith Ringgold here: https://youtu.be/794M-mcOJY4
What helps you to get out of your own head?