Pick one woman in history or fiction to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. What would you talk about?
With as much grace as I can summon, I’d begin a conversation with Augusta Savage by thanking her. I’d tell her, “Thank you. Thank you for being a warrior in the Civil Rights Movement, for following your passion and being a great educator, artist, and leader.”
Within that hour, I’d want to know Augusta, the woman. One who was resilient, who suffered for her art, but never let her faith falter. I’d want to know how she found such resolve to believe in humanity and love people, the good and the bad. I’d ask her how she learned to love the color of her skin although it so often served to hold her back. I’d want to know her greatest obstacle in being a self-taught artist, and how she stayed inspired through hard times.
But I’d also want Augusta to know that she influenced me to take a sculpture course and how, despite finding that art was not my niche, I wouldn’t give up. How I kept a small photo of her sculpture The Harp as motivation. How I earned a B- that I was more proud of than any A I’ve ever received. I’d tell her, “Because of you, I left with an open mind and excitement for new things.”
In that hour, I want to hear her insist that self-confidence reigns supreme over others’ opinions. I’d want her to tell me how to maintain passion and curiosity. I’d hope that Augusta Savage would remind me that, in order for great things to happen, I must make myself vulnerable yet remain optimistic at all times.