Williamston High School student Sarah won the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Art Contest sponsored by the Mid-Michigan MLK Commission. Sarah earned a $500 prize. Additionally, her artwork will be displayed at the NAMI Center in Lansing. The contest allows local artists to showcase their talents while honoring Dr. King’s legacy.
Congratulations to Sarah on this remarkable accomplishment and important artistic representation.
"On September 15th, 1963, the 16th Street Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed. During this time, this had been the third bombing in the course of 11 days. This attack, however, injured more than 20 and killed four little African-American girls named Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson. The death of these children was shocking to the nation, brought international attention to the civil rights movement, and outraged both white and black Americans. In this art piece, I drew two hands, both black and white, holding onto the rubble of the church working to build a “foundation of brotherhood” with it. Behind the hands and the rubble, I added flames. Flames symbolically represent pain and destruction but also light and rebirth. The death of Denise, Addie, Cynthia, and Carole was painful for the family and the nation as a whole. But, with the destruction of the church and the pain of death, both black and white Americans were determined to cause change and rebirth the foundation of brotherhood. Behind the flames, there is a faint outline of four people, representing the four girls that died in the bombing, standing with us as we build that foundation. Behind the rubble, hands, girls, and fire is a newspaper representing the way this bombing spread both nationally and internationally which outraged both white and black people alike."