A Portrait for Women Empowerment- Q&A with Sarah Mullah, Winner of Black History Month Art Contest

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Sarah Mullah’s art piece

Margaret Holmes

What makes you like painting over other art forms?

I think the biggest reason I love painting is because it’s kind of forgivable in a way. Like, if something doesn’t work out, you can just fix it by either putting black or white. And then also it doesn’t really have a plan. I kind of go with the flow of it, and it turns into something great.

 What does Black History Month mean to you?

I think it means to raise Black voices up and all Black voices. But the thing that really kind of stuck with me is raising Black women’s voices up, and making them feel heard. I feel like they’re very marginalized as a group and their voices deserve to be heard.

 How did you come up with the idea for your painting?

Again, with the theme that women are underrepresented and stuff like that.

I have curly hair, so I know the struggles of having curly hair and I couldn’t imagine having coils like that. And I remember watching something about the natural hair movement and how super curly hair was deemed unprofessional. So it’s just a mix of that and celebrating Black beauty.

And then also, in society I feel like a lot of the times, in order to be beautiful, you have to have your facial features look a certain way, and being a Black woman, you’re not going to have those features. So every woman should deserve to feel beautiful no matter what race you are.

 Are there any other messages you felt like you were trying to convey in your painting?

Definitely the uses of color I feel like also represent that different colors are beautiful, like the combination I did with the flowers on the bottom: I did colors of skin rather than petals.