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Design Concept

Design Concept

Newly renovated Laurel Housing Authority development

Newly renovated Laurel Housing Authority development

Newly renovated Laurel Housing Authority development

Newly renovated Laurel Housing Authority development

Mayor Johnny Magee

Mayor Johnny Magee

Laurel Housing Authority

Laurel Housing Authority

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

The Tears Of Our Ancestors Irrigate Our Destiny - To be installed Spring of 2023 

Location: Laurel - Jones County Welcome Center,, Laurel Mississippi

Project Description:

Visually and symbolically "Sankofa" is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth. Literally translated it means "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot”. "Sankofa" teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated. 

 

Inspired by the concept of Sankofa and input from the residents of the Housing Authority of City of Laurel, this design composition aims to express the historic significance of the housing development, the since of community felt amongst its current residents and the pride that lingers from the legacy of the many African American icons that once lived in Laurel Mississippi.

 

The Tears Of Our Ancestors Irrigate Our Destiny is anchored by the image of Sankofa.  It is interwoven with the unbreakable spirit of our ancestors and the unwavering hope for future generations of African Americans in Laurel. The three haloed figures to the left of Sankofa represent the spirit of the many local and out-of-state activists who solidified Mississippi’s role as the mecca of the Freedom Movement in the early 1960’s. The haloed woman at the water pump works tirelessly to pump the tears of the un-sung heroes and sheroes whose stories will never be told. Her bucket filled with their spirit of determination, overflows in an attempt to fortify the Laurel community in which generations of African American families are rooted and continue to grow.

 

The 80 square feet mosaic fabrication was completed by community members during workshops held in November of 2022. In the Spring of 2023 it will be installed in front of the Laurel - Jones County Welcome Center which is currently under construction. This project was made possible through support from the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel MS, and National Endowment for the Arts.

 

 

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