Bullets, threads: Local artist uses striking medium to explore her African heritage

Lakea Shepard, a Winston-Salem native, has asked herself in recent years: What does it mean to protect myself and how do I do it? The question crept into her dreams, and one night, she dreamed that a young Black boy was shot in front of her.

“It made me think about myself, being in a brand new city,” she said. “How am I going to protect myself from the world around me?”

The ways that many people protect themselves is through weapons. That’s what her father did. But as a Black woman, she wasn’t allowed to touch her father’s gun.