Saturday, December 17, 2011

Honoring Valerie & Robert White

Our Police Chief, Robert White, is leaving Louisville for Denver, Colorado.  The 2.5 years before he arrived were horrific ones marked by vigilante police justice and poorly trained officers that resulted in 10-11 deaths of while incarcerated, one while already handcuffed with his hands behind his back, one mentally retarded man, and so on.  When I think how I've used my own dogged strength (to reference W.E.B. DuBois) from being torn asunder and that my anger and outrage eventually succumbed to brief periods of feeling like my life, and those of my children, had no value in this city solely based on the fact we were a Black People, I understood once again how those with less resolve and survival skills and consciousness fall prey/victim to enemies and the powerful.  Even as I write this and reflect on those 2.5 years, my stomach has knots and my skin is crawling.  Chief White turned the police department around by holding Accountability, with a capital A, for members who took the oath to serve and protect.  He embraced ALL of the community and updated training and focused on community policing.  Still not a perfect system, but SUBSTANTIAL progress was made and it made a difference.  I can't say I'm not apprehensive about who will replace him.


With his leaving, the other loss, is to the artistic community.  Valerie White is married to Robert White.  She is a supremely intelligent and talented and gracious!  She is a blessing not only artistically, but makes me, as a woman, want to nuture the best part of me more than I do.  For that, I know she will always be a part of my soul-circle, but the gift of peeking into her artistic process from time to time will be sorely missed along with her critiques and assistance in my own work.  Valerie has held several shows while here and her imagery and craft never fails to leave me breathless!  No one is doing work like Valerie and it is extremely refreshing!  One of my treasured memories is her riding shotgun to my first time at the Crow Barn where we hooked up with Juanita Yeager, another Louisville artist and treasure who no longer lives here.


Valerie and Robert will leave huge holes in the soul of this city...


  1. So glad I turned my system on this morning to view some art that I am scanning. Thank you so very much for this wonderful story. It makes me feel there is hope in America for us Black folks after all. Please direct me where I can see some of Valerie's works of art, and thanks again for this encouraging story.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post. Not living in Louisville, I didn't realize the impact Robert has had in Louisville. I did have the opportunity to know Valerie. She is an artist who has inspired me; she is a person I truly will miss.