The Art of Autism kicks off Black History Month 2022 with a poem by Art of Autism board member Angela Weddle. Do you have a poem, art or a blog to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Mother Stands
My mother stands in front of Robert E. Lee.
My mother stands in front of me.
My mother stands in the shadows of future and past.
My mother stands in the places that remain.
My mother stands in what cannot be contained.
I have the privilege of sitting because my mother is unremitting.
I accept her posture, always unflinching.
Remembering my first memory of learning about lynching.
I was 4, we were poor, but saved for a vacation.
Mobile offered no mobility, but most certainly an education.
No time for tantrums of childhood expression.
White knuckled knocking on the door always means oppression.
Is there a problem here, a man’s voice queries.
No problem, she’s four, she shuts the door harried.
Girl, don’t you know this is a lynching town?!
Crying because I don’t want my family killed for their skin being brown.
I glow in the light, incandescent.
Guilt permeates my mind for my color is anything but transparent.
My blackness is visible even if not apparent.
Held safely by the womb of my mother, defiant.
I dry my tears and listen to her guidance.
Chains on doors, I look at my grandmother’s face.
Her arms make space for what one cannot comprehend.
She created my mother, both of whom I now defend.
From monsters at the door of childhood innocence.
Never to return because the truth is omniscience.
Years pass, on the precipice of standing in her place.
She taught me to pray. May I walk with grace.
In radiant blackness unbound.
In radiant blackness I am proud.
Fearless she is. Fearless I stand.
Free to be Black in colors they cannot see.
Free to be Black and all that Black can mean.
Header Artwork: “My Mother Stands,” Traditional and Digital Painting, Ink and Watercolor on Paper, iPad Mini 6, Apple Pencil, Procreate, 2022
Art of Autism Board member Angela N. Weddle is a professional visual artist who is autistic, has cerebral palsy, and congenital right hemisphere brain damage. She is originally from New Orleans and has lived in San Antonio, Texas for a decade.
Weddle is a neurological anomaly and savant, who is not supposed to have any artistic ability but always has. She has mentored students about poetry and art and participated as a mentor for Summer on the Hill, a program for autistic and intellectually disabled young adults. She has also read and performed slam poetry at PuroSlam and with the San Antonio Jazz Poets. She has taught students ranging from young children to adults art privately in San Antonio, Texas. She is a published poet in the journal Barking Sycamores Year One; Edited by V. Solomon Maday & N.I. Nicholson. Weddle has blogged and is a contributing blogger for the international blog The Art of Autism. Weddle also lectures about autism awareness and advocacy to local organizations and corporations such as H.E.B. Weddle is known for her sketchbooks, in particular, and has been mentioned in The San Antonio Current, as well as, interviewed by the local arts magazine, Arts United San Antonio, major online magazine PopSugar for her digital art along with partnering with Apple, and has contributed animation to exciting upcoming projects.