Tonya Engel took the time to swing by our offices this afternoon to celebrate the release of her latest project, “Jam on the Vine” – just in time for Black History Month!
And a detail of the painting:
From author LaShonda Katrice Barnett:
“”Jam on the Vine” is a new American classic: a dynamic tale of triumph against the odds and the compelling story of one woman’s struggle for equality that belongs alongside “Jazz” by Tony Morrison and “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker.
Ivoe Williams, the precocious daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith from central-east Texas, first ignites her lifelong obsession with journalism when she steals a newspaper from her mother’s white employer. Living in the segregated quarter of Little Tunis, Ivoe immerses herself in printed matter as an escape from her dour surroundings. She earns a scholarship to the prestigious Willetson College in Austin, only to return overqualified to the menial labor offered by her hometown’s racially biased employers.
Ivoe eventually flees the Jim Crow South with her family and settles in Kansas City, where she and her former teacher and lover, Ona, found the first female-run African American newspaper, Jam on the Vine. In the throes of the Red Summer—the 1919 outbreak of lynchings and race riots across the Midwest—Ivoe risks her freedom and her life to call attention to the atrocities of racism as witness in the disproportionate incarceration of black men.”
“Jam on the Vine” has been receiving incredible support and reviews from major publications since its release last week, and Tonya is honored to have been selected to create the dignified and emotive painting for its cover. We simply couldn’t be more proud.
We would like to extend a huge and heartfelt congratulations to Tonya – and, of course, her delightful assistant, Zoe.
(Don’t let that sweet smile fool you: this one is a real task master!)