Black History Month came to a close yesterday. I was so sad to have piece that I’ve been working on unfinished. Here I am, a day late, introducing you to Martha P. Johnson. I was first drawn to Martha because of her fabulous appearance. I especially admired how she decorated her hair with flowers. When I decided that I wanted to paint her, all that I knew about her was that she was a trans activist and part of the Stone Wall Riots. I began researching her life and felt such a deep compassion for her and connection with her story. Martha co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) in 1970, a space for trans people of color to take shelter. She lived on the streets herself for much of her life and experienced mental illness. She didn’t let these barriers stop her from being a fierce advocate for equality. Martha would often tell people that the initial “P” for her middle name stood for, “Pay it no mind”. Rest In Peace Martha and thank you for you bravery and determination.
Pay it No Mind