Well, at least three times, I've managed to beat the New York Times by more than a week.
But this has to be the first time I beat it by well over five YEARS!
By Kwame Opam.
Each morning at 4, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson would rise from the couch in her living room in Columbus, Ohio, and, with her dogs in tow, commit herself to her many continuing art projects. She would start, perhaps meditatively, with the watercolors in her basement, before moving on to other pieces in other rooms.
Almost every part of her house-turned-studio had been given over to the tools of her craft: paint, brushes, journals, sketchbooks, buttons, fabrics, music boxes, found objects and what she called hogmawg, the sculptural material she made with pig grease, mud, homemade dyes and glue that gave her sculptures an almost petrified quality.
Her vast library, weathered from research, served as a source of inspiration. A steady diet of coffee and cigarettes kept her awake. She worked this way for years — up with the sun, down late at night, sleeping only a few hours before starting again.
In interviews, Robinson would say that art is a way of life, and the way she lived hers was grounded firmly in that notion. Her daily industry came out of a deeply held desire to tell Black people’s stories.
“By the time I reached 9 years old,” she wrote in one of her journals, “I was deep, deep into transforming and recording the culture of my people into works of art. The magnitude of research and study of Afro-Amerikans is what I have dedicated my life. My works are the missing pages of American history.”
She believed that life for her people in America was an act of near-superhuman perseverance, and she was determined to capture that history in every medium she could....
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...Robinson was born in 1940 and raised in Columbus, Ohio, within the close-knit community of Poindexter Village, one of the country's first federally funded metropolitan housing developments. Robinson received her formal art training at the Columbus Art School (now the Columbus College of Art and Design). She continued to live and work in Columbus. She graduated from the Columbus Art School cum laude in 1960, studying at Ohio State University, Franklin University, and Bliss College. Her diverse body of work ranges from drawings and woodcuts to complex sculptures made from natural and synthetic materials, such as twigs, carved leather, music boxes, and "hogmawg," her own material composed of mud, grease, dyes, and glue...
(LONG article from March, with many pictures)
"It's the 1940s in Columbus, Ohio. Take a stroll on Mt. Vernon Avenue. Meet the Sockman, who mends old socks, and the Brownyskin Man, who sells pork rinds: "If you want brown skins, put your finger in the air! The Brownyskin Man will be right there!" Learn about the Chickenfoot Woman and Doctor Kickapoo the Medicineman and others. They're all part of life on this self-sufficient street. A street called home."