"Black mothers wail a virgin rainfall as eulogies bleed like hand-me-down fabric from Christ; black bodies stain the pavement in crimson red." - Morel Doucet
"The dirt beneath our nails still pray to the Midnight Sun," is a series of mixed media drawings that examine the realities of climate-gentrification, migration, and displacement within the Black diaspora communities of South Florida. Over the past two years, I've been visiting Little Haiti, Overtown Miami, Allapattah, and Liberty City to gather flora and fauna from these communities to create ecological drawings that inscribe the carbon footprint of local residents.
When I explore these neighborhoods, I see they're sacred to residents. The land harbors their cultural memories, legacies, and a shared nostalgia. Over the last year, developers have been aggressively gentrifying these areas because of their land elevation, often causing the displacement of those affected by rising rents and property tax. As a result, these communities are changing rapidly. I want to explore an environmental approach to metaphorically illustrate climate-gentrification in South Florida. In the event Black bodies cease to exist with the threat of climate-gentrification, the land the diaspora inhabits still holds our cultural memories and genetics of our existence; the tropical foliage and front yard gardens are like gatekeepers of time - they anchor the dreams and hopes of the community.
Black mothers wail a virgin rainfall
as eulogies bleed like hand-me-down fabric
from Christ; black bodies
stain the pavement in crimson red.
We the children of the copper-sun
is the regal Black Madonna, caramelized
brown skin dances in the sultry summer.
Our palms hold a Georgian tradition, smiles
painted as laughter on the smear of our faces.
We chastise nightfall for the fear of
our shadows, clothes stained
with broken promises."