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My Passion Projects

Discover the Art by Ty Lewis

 

Ty Lewis' PAPA MAY HAVE...

At the core of the original play PAPA MAY HAVE...written by Ty Lewis; is the necessity for truth. This is a coming of age story of four estranged brothers. Their father, Timothy Sr. has recently died from a terminal illness. Naturally, the brothers come together to pay their last respects to their father. As the tears dry; pain, secrets and regrets unfold in the most soul stirring way. Taking place in their childhood family room the brother are forced to acknowledge the memories of addiction, identity, complacency and abuse that are literally written on the walls. The brothers relive some of their course altering moments with each other, their father and their mother figure “Aunt Angie” through revealing flash backs right before the audience. It is an uphill climb to forgiveness and restoration. However, the evidence of their father’s determination to raise “kings” and the light of possibility that glimmers in every tear and burst of laughter suspends our unbelief. This story promotes the “love” of Christ in a modern, real world way. The brothers establish an open door for hard-hitting conversation and reconciliation among families and friends and all are welcomed to sit at the table.

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I AM A MAN

In Memphis Tennessee 1968 two black men, Echol Cole and Robert Walker were crushed in a garbage compactor while taking shelter from the rain. These two sanitation workers, along with many others, were forced to work in harsh weather and inhumane conditions for below minimum wage. Their deaths lead to a march in honor of those who died in support of the Memphis Sanitation Strike and to address the racial injustices of the working class. Martin Luther King Jr. would join 1300 men on March 18, 1968 as they protested. These men, mostly older gentlemen in their 50’s or 60’s were regarded as children, paid “starvation wages,(MLK)” and in most cases, only hired due to their arrest records and low threat to unionizing. For this, the strike’s slogan became “I AM A MAN.” In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the world watched on May 25th 2020 as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin knelt on a black man, George Floyd's neck for approximately 9 and a half minutes to Floyd's death. With black deaths rising due to systematic racial police brutality, Floyd's death was a call to war. Riots and protests spread throughout the country and internationally. Chauvin was charged with 2nd and 3rd degree murder and second degree man slaughter. Chauvin’s trial began on March 9, 2021, almost 53 years to the date of the march in Memphis in 1968. With these parallel tragedies in mind and countless others that lead to no indictments, aquittles or no investigation at all, Chauvin’s trial and pending verdict seems predictable. 


Decades beyond the civil rights movement and more than a century after slavery was abolished, black men struggle for the simple dignity to be seen as human. This anthology was written to pay homage to Cole, Walker and Floyd; martyrs for the same struggle. This collection of work is for those martyrs who never made the headlines and for whom justice did not prevail. These poems are our cries, anger and laughter in the rhythm of a black man’s heart today. Still, we want to be seen as men and given our inalienable right to breathe. Each poem speaks to the validity of our lives in its simplicity, yet totality and not the sum total of our transgressions. These poems give insight to our vulnerability that is tucked away daily to face a world that has never accepted our rich melanin, broad shoulders and resounding voices as intended by God. These words celebrate us in every perfect shade of brown we are covered in. Just as those brave men declared in the heat of oppression in 1968, I Ty Lewis declares today, “I AM A MAN.” 

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    Validity

    Ty's new painting series “Validity" is simple and complex, easy and in your face at the same time. It celebrates and pays homage to black men… living. Validity is about the everyday hard working and often forgotten brotha, homie, gentleman and scholar.  It's about being my brother's keeper and a hug from mom and a kiss from your lady. It's about the allowance of strength and vulnerability. Validity is about every black man being worthy of life and all its shades of brown. Validity speaks for the voiceless, those aliveand those that have gone on without their concerns perfected.  
    With the #BlackLivesMatter movement seemingly fading and a numbing, normalized reality that black men remain targeted through police brutality, Validity is a reminder.  Through vibrant shades of brown and strategic composition we feel who and what has been affected, friendship, family and community.

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    Kiss It Up To God

    Kiss it up to God” is a phrase I’d hear from time to time as a rambunctious youth. In between mud pies and a game of hid and seek you were bound to drop your midday snack. “Kiss it up to God,” your friend would shout and so you did. You would pucker up and kiss your chocolate chip cookie and lift it high in the sky. Raising it high meant God could reach it…wash it and make it good enough to eat again. If it could only be that simple to the adult mind, right? Could we actually kiss our regrets up to God? What about our failures? How about all those who have hurt us or our sin? Could God wash us and make us good again? Psalms 55:22(NLT) tells us to “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. 1 John 1:9 says “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” The word of God tells us the answer to our questions is a resounding, YES! He can reach us. He can cleanse us. All it takes is the willingness to confess and the work of giving it all to Him. This anthology is an honest exploration of one’s journey through refinement. Confessions & rebukes meet dreams & forgiveness in rhythm & rhyme. These poems are divided into eight relatable chapters as tangible as a chocolate-chip cookie at midday. Certainly, life will mix in heartache and pain with your joy. Yet, what a delight it is to know that we can kiss it up to God. His unconditional love will perfect that which concerns us. It’s a simple concept out of the mouth of babes. Atlas, with a little imagination and faith, it still works.

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