In January 2023, Southern Birth Justice Network, working in partnership with CRA secured the site beautifully displaying the Overtown Birth Justice Mural in the historic Overtown, Miami arts-district; famous for its legacy of Black culture and activism. Created by local artist, Lisa Lee, this highly symbolic visual origin story stands over 20 feet in height and spans an equal length. The "Birthplace of Birth Justice" tagline references SBJN's founding in 2009, that began with a small volunteer work force dedicated to support pregnancies of the underserved from a tiny shared office space in central Overtown.
Lisa Lee is a visual artist who lives and works in South Florida. She was born and raised in Kansas City, KS. Even as a child, Lisa had an innate ability for creativity, both in music and visual art, where at a young age she won prizes for her abilities. However, instead of cultivating those talents, Lisa decided to serve her country and improve her own life. After graduating from high school she joined the United States Air Force (USAF) with the goal of traveling and obtaining a college education.
After wearing the uniform for 20 years, Lisa retired from the USAF and continued to serve her nation as a civil servant for an additional 8 years. Even after serving honorably for 28 years, her creative talents could not be stifled and she re-emerged as an artist, diligently working in the studio to hone and develop her skills.
Lisa’s primary mediums of choice are oil and acrylic paints. She has also draws using pencil, charcoal, and pastels. Initially, Lisa focused on realistic portraits, but her abilities have no limits and she has since excelled with landscapes, textured art, murals, abstract and collage. Lisa’s artwork has been featured at the Adolfo & Marisela Cotilla Gallery at Nova Southeastern University and Gallery One in Fort Lauderdale, FL, along with venues in Atlanta, GA and the Wynwood Art District in Miami Florida.
The mural mimics the seamless union of nature, ancestry, spiritual and physical interconnectedness depicted in the water birth. Preparing to give life, engulfed by the eternal sea, encompassed by the Midwife’ hands, we are presented with a moment of peace, stillness and quiet expectation.
The surrounding Adinkra symbols, from the Asante people of Ghana, are displayed prominently and are representative of the intergenerational passage of legacy, culture, spiritual principals, and customs interwoven through Black birthing traditions.
Artist Lisa Lee shares reflections on the symbolism used in the making of the Overtown Birth Justice Mural