STORM IN THE TIME OF SHELTER

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One day in 1989, during a time when I was performing with the Augusta Opera Company, I ordered lunch to go because it was a beautiful afternoon. As I sat downtown, a reporter ran up and asked, “Do you know what’s going on?” I told him I didn’t. He said, ‘There’s a Klan rally!’ I watched as the robed figures marched by—the majority color for the robes was white. For this piece, I re-imagined Ku Klux Klan robes from my memories of rallies growing up in the South. The centerpiece is a charred cross inscribed with hymns that were common in my childhood. Some of these were sung by the KKK, such as ‘The Old Rugged Cross.’ A well-known photo easily found online shows a toddler dressed in a Klan robe, face-to-face with a black state trooper. It made me ponder the learned aspects of fear, faith, hatred, and love.