After the election of Barrack Obama it began to seem like there was a whole new spirit in this country, an excitement, an edge, a never-before-seen unity . . . almost as if we were living under a whole new “sky” . . . . it felt so wide and pervasive. I sent out an email to every principal in Illinois to try to find a venue to celebrate the first black president in a special way. Thinking many would respond, only one did . . . Vaida Williams, a big, brave and wildly joyful woman from the Alex Haley School on Chicago’s southside, a 100% African-American school so “rough” that they had no toilet paper or fixtures in the bathrooms . . . you had to check it out.
The weather was frigid, blizzards covered our work twice, we gave up . . . and then on the scheduled day of the event, we woke up to an unexpected clear and sunny day. Inspired by the seemingly impossible task Obama is welcoming as he takes office and with the help of students, teachers and parents who came out in droves to help us, we all worked furiously to turn a snowy field in to the image below.
With fresh snow in Obama’s teeth and eyes, 900 students jumped in to form his hair, suit, shirt and border . . . “YES!” was spelled out of recycled cans and an Earth flag lies embedded in his tie in this 12,000 square foot image. Thank you Jade and Chris for coming up to help . . . it couldn’t have been done without you . . . nor with the sun that surprised us that morning, a big lesson about expecting miracles!