9-Year-Old’s Drawing Paying Homage To Black History To Be Displayed In White House
Black history takes precedence in the family's home.
August 11, 2021 at 6:25 pm
The third-grader was selected from more than 500 students in her age group to win The White House History Association’s National Student Art Competition, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
Gabrielle's drawing, which shows large Black hands holding up the White House with the American flag in the background, pays homage to the enslaved Africans who built the White House.
“I was inspired to paint this picture because of the history I read and learned from my father. The White House is a symbol of America that was built by enslaved African Americans,” the Detroit native said.
She also explained the meaning of the stripes and colors in the painting.
“The white stripes represent the purity of the struggle, the blue means justice and the white stars represent the unity for all people,” Gabrielle told CBS Newspath.
Rashid Faisal, the artist's father, said the family knew she made the top 10 finalists but didn’t realize she won until they watched the announcement online.
"When I think about the large hands holding The White House, the hands are symbolic of our people, collectively, our history," Rashid told Fox 2 Detroit. "And you have the background with the flag, and that is the unifying factor for all of us as Americans. Black history is not just for African-American people, it is for all people."
A panel of professionals judged the art pieces on originality, interpretation and historical relevancy. Gabrielle's work succeeded the criteria.
"The Red Stripes symbolize our struggle for freedom. The White Stripes symbolize the purity of our struggle. Blue is the symbol of justice for all people no matter what color. The Stars represent the unity of all people coming together. The shackled hands are the hands of enslaved Africans who built the White House,” the award-winning artist said.
Gabrielle and the rest of the finalists will have their work on display in The White House's visitors center through Sept. 22. The 9-year-old has also earned a $1,000 cash prize.
Rashid said Black history takes precedence in their home.
"I have a home library filled with books on African-American history, Blacks who were a part of building The White House, so for her when it came time to do art, it was just organic for her," he said.