Saturday, February 13, 2016, 2:30 pm
TABLA RASA GALLERY
224 48th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)
718- 833 9100
Willie Mae Brown returns to Tabla Rasa Gallery to read “Camden”, a chapter from her upcoming memoir, “MySelma!” “Camden” tells the story of a town near the Alabama River, where many students and teachers were jailed for protesting against inequality in Selma, Alabama.
About this presentation:
Alabama was the stage for a number of the most significant events in civil rights history and home to many individuals who shaped the course of the Civil Rights Movement in America. March of 2015 was the 50th anniversary of the voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama and “Bloody Sunday.”
According to Miss Brown, “We all know what happened in Selma, Lowndes County, Birmingham, and many places in the south, the deep south. We’ve heard of many killings. We’ve heard of the killings of Mrs.Viola Liuzzo, Emmett Till, and others. We’ve heard the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, “I have a dream”- being the most familiar, and we’ve heard of the long lines to register to vote.
“But there were other things going on in Selma at the time. There were whispers of homes suddenly catching afire, talks of beatings that were never recorded in the newspapers, disappearances of young black men, and guns being drawn on Negro men on Water Avenue. These were confrontations that the media did not record, and that investigators hid.” And these are the stories that were told to or heard by Willie Mae Brown, and which she brings to the audience. They happened in some remote areas of Alabama, were never spoken of in public, and have since died with the victims and their families. Miss Brown invites the public to take a glance into her personal history, as described in her forthcoming audio book, “My Selma!” which previewed at Tabla Rasa Gallery on February 15, 2015.
About Willie Mae Brown:
Willie Mae Brown, author, visual artist and story teller, was born and raised in Selma, Alabama
during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement of the fifties (50’s). The charisma of the times and the excitement, released a creative energy inside her and she began to write the unfolding stories of the times. Ms. Brown is currently working on a book chronicling her experiences.
Ms. Brown left Alabama in 1970 and started a life in Brooklyn, NY, gaining a career with the New York Telephone Co. where she retired in 2003. During her time with the company she was able to attend Saint Francis College in Brooklyn for Creative Writing and English in 1993. In 1998 she attended Columbia University for creative writing and English literature. Ms. Brown’s approach to creative visual arts came at a point in her life when the muse could no longer be satisfied with the narrative. She began to paint, and in 2002 she chose the abstract approach of art to give expression to her visions and dreams. “I believe in art, the beauty of art, the originality of art in books, vinyl, antiques, paintings, and collectibles. Art should be an important part of a loving, teaching home. It should be original and affordable. My job is to become an integral part of this process.”
Ms. Brown has exhibited in New York City at The Puck Building, Harlem Fine Arts show, Art Off The Main, Corridor Gallery, Gallery 3d, Brooklyn’s Borough Hall Art Gallery as well as several venues in and around the borough’s. In her hometown of Selma, Alabama, she has shown exclusively at the Selma Public Library. Her work is permanently with the Paul R. Jones Collection at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Also one of her paintings has been gifted and accepted by personal letter, to the collection of President William J. Clinton.