Sunday, March 20, 2016

All about-Race and power near Blue Box 6.

I had arranged to meet Hurricane Maria at Blue Box 8 near the Lynx Bus Station. 27 Blue Boxes are painted on sidewalks in Downtown Orlando. These boxes are for panhandlers and buskers. Busking is possible only during day light hours. Although set up for panhandlers, police often insist street performers must use the blue boxes. Performing outside the boxes can result in 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

I arrived a little late and didn't see Maria. I assumed she was running late and started sketching. My darn cell phone was dead because my car charger was broken. There was no way to contact her. I finished as much of the sketch a I could, and assumed that I could place Maria in the sketch when she arrived. She is a caricature artist and she planned to set up shop in the Blue Box. I probably sketched for an hour and a half, completing most of the watercolor with an open space that I left blank. If anyone reading this is interested, I could sketch you into this incomplete sketch in about half an hour. I will not post the sketch until it has a performer utilizing the box. Become part of The Blue Box Initiative.

I packed up an decided to head home. As I approached a huge construction site near the Bob Carr Theater, I saw Maria talking to several construction workers. She had gone to the wrong Blue Box and was deep in conversation about race and power. Blue Box number 6 had been ripped up due to the construction. As the conversation went on, I realized that the blue boxes represent first amendment zones, where freedom of express to is allowed.

The construction worker was explaining how blacks have been marginalized throughout history. The us Census would redefine the race every time there was census. They were redefined as blacks, negros, African Americans and other names. Poor neighborhoods were fractured and split up with redistricting. He asked each of us where our ancestors came from. Regardless of our past, he said we all have Moorish blood in us. Maria responded, "I prefer to just think of us as the human race."
He spoke of a true and divine knowledge of yourself, historically speaking. People have been calling themselves everything but what they are, and so they are never able to take their proper place in the national and international affairs of men all over the world. they have been mentally robbed of their inherent and invincible manhood, by being robbed of their nationhood. The west African Moorish Empire expanded into Europe conquering Spain in 711 AD. This was the greatest power in Europe at the time and its influence spread resulting in the Renaissance. Apparently Abraham Lincoln was assassinated because he understood this Moorish commonality. The same was true of Dr. Martin Luthar King. One of King's aid stepped aside to open a pathway for a sniper's bullet.

The local school the the worker used to go to used to inspire students to greatness. Then teachers were brought in from out of the community and the students were no longer taught civic pride. Drugs ravaged the neighborhood causing further collapse. These drugs were specifically introduce in impoverished neighborhoods. This backfired however because then others could get cheap drugs there and the drug plagues spread could not be stopped.

With my sketch done, I decided to slip away. Free speech was very much alive near Blue Box number 6. I asked Maria if she was willing to set up for a short time in Blue Box number 8, but she had to get over to Audubon Park where she would be doing caricatures at the Monday night farmers market in the Stardust Video and Coffee parking lot.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

1 comment:

Ginny Stiles said...

I just bought your book, Thomas, and am so thoroughly enjoying it.
I've done a "smige" of urban sketching and am just warming up to it.
A group of local Leesburg folk are going to try to do some at the Farmer's Market in downtown Leesburg on April 16, 9:30-12:30 and then out to lunch. We have to start somewhere.
Putting people into my sketches in my current goal.
The idea of "blue boxes" being the only place to set up is quite new to me…and I feel sad about that.
No blue boxes in Leesburg. If you ever feel like getting out of town…I'll be near the fountain in the town square.
ps we have permission to do this from the director of the Farmer's market but no selling anything.