How the Arts Serve to Remember: Harriet Tubman

How the Arts Serve to Remember: Harriet Tubman

“Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,” Isaiah 46:9 ESV

Have you ever been in a low place; a season where things seem to just be going wrong? Oftentimes, one of the ways we can pull ourselves up out of the pit is to remember; we remember that there have been good times before and we take heart that there will be more good times ahead. The memory of blessings in our past gives us hope of blessings to come in our future.

Have you ever learned a hard lesson? A life-changing, “Never gonna forget THAT!” type of lesson? Have you ever wondered what makes it life-changing? Perhaps it’s because it was profound and powerful enough to cause you to remember…. Remember how you felt; remember how others around you felt and were affected; remember how you did NOT want that to ever happen again, enough so that you put changes into place to avoid it. Or perhaps, if it was a wonderful life-changing event, you put things in place to make sure you keep things how they are now because you remember how it was before, and you don’t wish to go back to that place.

If you search a Bible concordance for the word “remember”, you will find many entries throughout both the Old and New Testaments. We see that this idea of remembering is very scriptural. All through the Bible God asks us to remember: to remember what He has brought us through; remember who we were before He entered our hearts and cleansed us of sin. Remember.

The arts provide several avenues through which we can remember. If we are a visual artist, we can create a piece of artwork to document or commemorate an event or emotion that will help us remember that moment. Even if we are not artists, we can simply observe a piece of artwork that reminds us of something significant, which causes us to remember. We can see a dance that moves us emotionally and tells a story that relates straight to our hearts and a memory linked to that emotion.

Perhaps theatre brings the most remembering; especially through the story-telling that can come so very alive onstage. When people step into the personality and character of someone from the past, and do so with such conviction that you come to truly believe you are in the presence of the character portrayed, it causes you to remember. You remember all the stories you’ve heard and read about that person, and your emotions become stirred at hearing those stories told from the perspective of the person him- or herself.

We are honored to have our art instructor, Ms. Diane Faison McKinzie, bring us this very opportunity in her performance “Spirit of Harriet Tubman”. In this one-woman, one-act, 50 minute performance, Ms. McKinzie makes Harriet Tubman come alive onstage as she helps us remember a time in our not-so-distant history. A time that needs to never be forgotten. A time that should and will always be remembered so that we can bring honor, forgiveness, healing, and love to the current and future generations. And we can remember…

Written by Chrissy Hahn, Office Administrator.

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