Honorable Mention
Ijayna Barnes  | Nelson Mandela High School

The reason I decided to choose the ad from The New York Gazette (February 16,1761) was because the ad had so many details. The ad was written by the slave owner and showed the slave owner knew a lot about his slave. In my studies of slavery and  underground railroad novels, I had never come across a mention of these ads.

The process I used to create my artwork was to think a lot and imagine myself in the slaves* shoes and how it felt to be enslaved. Then I thought about the man in the ad and imagined from the description what he would look like and how he would he look tied up if he got caught.

Finally the image came to my head and I started to draw. I chose not to show his face because after some slaves got caught they would feel ashamed.

The meaning of my artwork is very simple because a lot of slaves ran away and got caught. Many never really realized they would never be free. Sometimes things were worse for the person when he was caught and for the people he left behind when he ran away. People think they're free but what does free really mean? Because the world is far from free and it's just a world of bondage, my artwork really tells a lot about me. I know how it feels to be tied and chained and to try to run away. To me every chain link has a story and every rope has been tied. The way of the world is just in bondage.

2009 Artists

Kirsten Sawyer (1)
Randy Wallace (2)
Tyesha Carter (3)
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Ijayna Barnes (HM)
Gabrielle Gardner (HM)
Suzanna Cole (HM)
Sarah Hartdke (HM)
Liam Houghtaling (HM)
John Morocho (HM)
Chris Nixon (HM)