‘Against the canvas of the night appears a curios celestial phenomenon.. a black star’- Yassin Bey (Mos Def)
From Black Star shipping line founded by Jamaican born Marcus Mossiah Garvey, founder of United Negro Improvement Association with his fellow country woman and wife Amy Ashwood Garvey in 1914.
In some attempt to get us over and going back home to… Africa
Africa for Africans was his call, her call, they heard, “Look to Africa for the crowning of a Black king.”, this utterance, in speech in text begins the Rasta movement,‘in 1930, the prophecy was fulfilled when, Ras Tafari Mekonnen was crowned emperor of Ethiopia and took the name Haile Selassie. Working from the bible and their own interpretations of it, the Rastafarians found evidence to support their claim and a religion was born’,shifting culture as we know it) they came, some denounced (W. E DuBois denounced then changed mind state, ended up with Nkrumah in Ghana..
Flag of Ghana, have the Black Star shinning as a memoriam to Garvey’s attempt to have Africans repatriated, Kwame Nkrumah, first president of an newly independent Ghana nation 1957, truly a Pan African President, screams and hollers from the rafters as he spoke utterances,’OUR INDEPENDENCE IS MEANINGLESS UNLESS IT IS LINKED UP WITH THE TOTAL LIBERATION OF AFRICA’ that would somehow (some say mismanagement, cia, corruption, crops, coup etc.) result to him passing from this earthly plain in Bucharest, Romania, 1972..
Mrs Theodosia Salome Okoh, designer of the flag, artist who is the direct link to the symbol
Black Star, Mos Def (now Yassin Bey) & Talib Kweli who thru their words, sounds opened me to those previously mentioned avenues with an album titled Black Star 1998. ‘..3rd eye vision, 5ive star dimension..’
This painting and subsequent paintings are an attempt to solidify and amplify certain thoughts in regards to this symbol myth, reality and all that pertains to Black Star.
Black Star in my paintings sits somewhere in between being the golden stool of the Ashanti and Basquiats crown
The golden stool covered in pure gold floated from the sky (the work of Chief Priest, Akomfo Anoyke) onto the lap of Osei Tutu, the first Asanthene of the newly founded Ashanti Kingdom, the soul of the nation sits inside this stool and can not be touched by anybody besides the Asanthene
Basquiats crown being royalty symbol.. ’The icon of crown haunts Basquait’s quintessential answer to a question once posed by Henry Geldzahler:”what is your subject matter?” Basquiat:”Royalty, heroism, and the streets.”
So the Black Star I paint sits somewhere in between this, acknowledgement of divine royalty from celestial abodes,but being a star which can not physically be touched, nor does any star look like the one i depict, it is myth solidified and amplified, it is a gesture of making the unseen seen, a honouring of the work of all those responsible for bringing the Black Star to the realm of the seen and in doing so re-presenting the Black I-mage for i(eye)(s) to see.
16th Asantehene with Golden Stool, Otumfo Nana Osei Tutu II
World Crown – Jean Michel Basquiat, 1981