MCINTOSH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Her pictures tell stories and her stories tell history.
Annie Greene shared her art with folks in Darien last weekend. But it was the message and the memories expressed by her yarn on paper images that delivered the key points during the McIntosh County Black History Month event.
"Sometimes we would go to town and my daddy would say 'let's get an ice cream cone at the local drug store,’’’ said Greene. “We could not sit at the counter. We could not sit at the table where others were having lunch after church.
“We would go stand at the end of the counter and then get the ice cream cones and then go out eating our ice cream.’’
The pictures and the stories in the art show were from Greene's book "What Color is Water?' in which she reflected on growing up black in the segregated South.
"I have always done things that related to what went on during my childhood,’’ she said.
One of the pictures depicts the school she attended, where her father was a teacher and her mother led the children in song on piano.
"We sang songs like Stephen Fosters “Old Black Joe,’’ said Greene. “We always sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,’’ which later became the Negro National Anthem. After the Civil Rights Movement, we decided we didn’t want to sing Dixie and those songs anymore because those songs were related to the old south.’’
The 88-year old artist from LaGrange taught art for 35 years in public schools.
Now she thinks it is important to share her firsthand experiences as a way of continuing to educate younger generations.
"I want them to learn what some of the people had to go through at that time,’’ said Greene. “I want them to learn to appreciate their history and want to read it and not shy away from it and for it to be something that they just want to dismiss.
“But, I don’t know, I just wanted to share my story and so, here we are.’’