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  • Writer's pictureApril Gavin

From the Archives

"Democracy does not lose by sharing its privileges. It loses by denying them." - Langston Hughes

He wrote these words in the 1940s in response to the Jim Crow south, but he could have easily written them today. What is is that folks are afraid of losing by society becoming more equitable? Has anyone considered what might be gained from a more equitable society? I'm pondering these thoughts and curious if you have any.

I'll have fresh art to share soon, but today I'd like to share this piece.

Back in 1997, I was taking classes in City College's extended learning program. The classes were low cost, usually at Fort Mason, and provided excellent instruction. Mainly, I took art classes and in 1997 I tried clay sculpture.

This horse's head has survived thus far and I remain proud of its shape and the work I put into it. Clay had its frustrations for me. You have to knead the clay to massage out the air bubbles. Even after you do this, there may be one lurking air bubble that explodes your piece in the kiln. Then you have to glaze the work and another run through the kiln puts your work into further peril. I couldn't buy into the revolving peril and didn't pursue further.

The instructor of this class called this piece another monster from by subconscious. Anyone know what she talking about? I sure didn't. Maybe that's also why I let go of clay as a medium.

The Berkeley Public Library recently opened for curbside pick-up and I've really missed my library. The library is a form of civilization for me. When the library goes, I know the world will soon follow. I checked out volume 9 of The Complete Works of Langston Hughes (there are 15 volumes all about 2" thick). The problem with reading Langston Hughes is that he gives you homework. He mentioned this poet who I'd not heard of - Frank Marshall Davis "I Have Talked with Death".

Death's palm met mine.

The moon bounced against my window pane

Like a tossed white ball;

Stars rattled

Like popping corn in a covered pan;

The sky exploded

Like a pricked balloon

As I shook his ancient hand.

...100 days until the election: Let's vote out the meathead! Here's one place where you can make change by writing postcards to voters in swing states. This is a popular form of activism right now and it works.


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