Last week my Brevard Branch American Association of University Women met at the Mary C. Jenkins Community and Cultural Center. I have shared that we have a Little Free Library placed outside of the community center and it has become a special place to our group. We held both our board meeting and our branch meeting at the beautiful new facility.
The decor is bright and beautiful and I snapped a few pictures of the articles on display which help tell the story of the community and of the people who have had an important part over the years.
There are many displays sharing many of the people who have influenced this community over the years, including teachers.
Some of my favorite displays included vivid textiles and fabrics used in a variety of ways.
I loved this fabric map of Africa.
Kente Cloth and a description were quite interesting..
Naomi welcomes visitors to the community center
But the thing that caught my attention was this chair – the So Strong Chair which greets visitors as well as Naomi. I loved the information that was shared about it and copied it to share with you today on this special day where we remember Martin Luther King Jr.
So Strong Chair
“(Something Inside) So Strong” is a song written and recorded by British singer- songwriter Labi Siffre. Released as a single in 1987, it was one of the biggest successes of his career, peaking at number four on the UK Singles Chart.
The song was written in 1984, inspired by a television documentary on Apartheid South Africa seen by Siffre in which white soldiers were filmed shooting at black civilians in the street. He told the BBC’s Soul Music programme in 2014 that the song was also influenced by his experience as a homosexual child, adolescent, and adult. Siffre originally intended to give the song to another artist to sing, but could find no one suitable and was persuaded to release it himself.
The song has remained enduringly popular and is an example of the political and sociological thread running through much of Siffre’s lyrics and poetry. It won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.”
The graphic affixed to the chair is painted to simulate the cover of the SO STRONG album from Labi Saffre the first album that had the song “So Strong” on the record. The cover is from a painting by David Hamilton, a Sound Engineer who worked at Bob Marley’s studio. “So Strong” has become a sort of theme song for the Freedom Schools.
The colors are taken from the album cover and from a Kente Cloth outfit on the mannequin at the Center and the chair features a patchwork of the colors and the design. The seat is covered in artist’s canvas and is painted. The feather on the back of the chair symbolizes Freedom.