By Zerline Hughes
So when I started the Not These Two blog project, I realized I needed a banner of some sort to fill in all the white space on the screen. Brainstorm! JD is on summer break with me at work on Friday, so why not have him create the very first Not These Two blog banner.
I asked him to draw “whatever comes to mind when you think about prison, jail, incarceration.” He had no follow up questions. He immediately started drawing three wide, shaded lines. A face emerged between them. With a sad face. And the pocket label on the person’s shirt read a set of numbers. Dead on.
I hope this image is something JD remembers, yet steers clear from.
I’m very upfront with these two kids of mine. They know what I do at work. They know who I advocate for. They also know who I don’t want them to become. They know I don’t want to advocate for them in the circumstances that I do at work every day. And they know – with my constant conversations – that the odds are stacked up against them.
Check out the visual renderings of incarcerated youth from the Children’s Prison Arts Project, a non-profit arts education organization whose mission is to introduce juvenile offenders in correctional facilities and shelters to an innovative educational theater and visual arts forum where they can express their thoughts and visions in constructive ways.
Like this blog, the arts can be therapeutic. Help solve challenges. Bring us back full circle. And help make declarations and create covenants on our loved ones. Mine: Not These Two.