Thumbs
Jelani
Oil on linen
40" x 50"
© 2005

Jelani. age 21

At age 13, Jelani was babysitting his two younger brothers in the living room of their second story apartment. He awoke to find the carpet on fire. While fighting the flames, he managed to wake his brothers and get them down the front stairs, but the fire forced him to the rear of the house where he had no choice but to jump from the bathroom window. He broke both legs and eventually lost his right leg to amputation. It was later determined that the cause of the fire was rats chewing through the electrical wiring in the walls of the apartment.