NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 107

Indian Combat Marble, 1868. Edmonia Lewis Edmonia Lewis (1845-1907) was an African/Native American expatriate sculptor who was phenomenally BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE successful in Rome. 105 We three warriors were called forth to be, forever, enemies. Stolen from marble, pressed into slaughter, we never weary. We seek no asylum except the perpetual hatchet, the eternal blade, the never-ending arrow, our fists that swallow our senses ‘til we’ve carved ourselves into memorials for causes long forgotten. Our fight was forged by a free brown woman’s brunt, her design for all our fates entwined like fingers laced in prayer for victory, then mercy, then dug into the Earth to resurrect our embattled lives lived just as her own: pounded into memory with mettle on stone.