Friday, October 23, 2009

The Tornado

Here are some work in progress still shots from the movie I'm in charge of this month at job-job.
Lately I've been feeling like we're becoming the 'opposite of racist' in the movies we provide--whatever that is. It's just that tons of our films feature African Americans or Latin and Spanish people. We hardly ever make a movie about a white person. I've been exasperated by it, in that I think it's getting strange that we're not representing a true melting pot. So when my schedule docked on Wilma Rudolph I rolled my eyes. Then I had to start researching her. I'm awe inspired. She rocks so hard. I love when my job teaches me new things. Wilma Rudolph was one of those people who shouldn't have succeeded. She was born premature, weighing only four and a half pounds. She was the twentieth of twenty-two kids! In the first few years of her life, Wilma's mother nursed Wilma through scarlet fever, mumps, measles and double pneumonia.

Wilma contracted Polio. Hospitals were segregated and she almost died multiple times, submitted to the kind of medical help you can imagine a poor little black girl in the South in the 1950s would receive. She had a Forest Gump kind of brace on her leg until she was twelve!

I loved the stories I read about her mother who would not give up. Determined to beat the odds, her mom packed Wilma up. They traveled fifty miles twice a week to get Wilma to physical therapy in the only place that would treat her. Her entire family worked round the clock helping Wilma do strengthening exercises, nursing her to health.

Look her up. She died so young. but in her short lifetime she shattered boundaries. She wrote her own biography. She consulted on the movie made about her life. She won so many awards. If you
Google her you'll find multiple accounts saying she changed the world. Talented enough to brake through the time's preconceived notions about race and gender she changed the way the world measures the value of a person.
In 1960 she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic games.
Ooh and she was sooo so fast.

Watch her run. She'll blow your mind.

12 comments:

Connie said...

Lovely illustrations of a fantastic story. Thank you for sharing!

Ginger*:) said...

Very interesting observations...a great story, a wonderful set of illustrations and very inspiring. You did a great job with these.

pupu said...

This is very inspiring. I love the story. Thank you for sharing. ^^*

thedoodlegirl said...

Such a fascinating and inspiring story! Your illustrations are wonderful, as well. :)

Sandy K. said...

I think its fantastic that your company is the 'opposite of racist' and are highlighting african and latin americans especially since they were so often dismissed in media in the past. Wilma story is so inspiring!! very cool lady

Shirley said...

Wow....great thought-provoking post. Thank you for this. My daughter recently read about Ms. Rudolph last year - Scholastic Books presented a full page on her and her triumphs. Great to bring this to the forefront!

Jessica said...

Awesome! It looks wonderful - and Wilma Rudolph's an amazing lady. I'm glad there are women being represented - no matter what color.

Loni Edwards said...

A great post! Love the illos! Wilma Rudolph is such an inspirational person. Thank you for sharing!

ratu lakhsmita indira said...

oh wow, it's good to be here!
and you sure are sketchy! :)

E. Thompson said...

Inspiring story and well done illustrations. Thanks for sharing.

Naomi said...

Excellent, thank you for sharing. She very inspirational.

Rachel said...

Have you read Wilma Unlimited? It is a picture book about Wilma Rudolph that I read to me class every year.

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