10-year-old Tampa artist becomes activist for justice

Something Good

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – When unrest broke out following the death of George Floyd, children were watching, learning, and in the case of 10-year-old Gabrielle Klapman, deciding to make a difference.

“We need to stand up for that because we’re all human beings,” Gabrielle said. “We have to be kind to each other.”

The fifth-grader pulled out her paint, canvasses, and, with her pet Skeeter the lizard perched on her shoulder, began creating art reflecting justice and equality. Her art – she prefers abstracts, by the way – features her own interpretations of what equality looks like, and also includes phrases from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Like many families, Gabrielle’s is multi-racial. Her uncle is Black, and her cousins are biracial. Gabrielle’s mother says her sister and brother-in-law are humbled and proud of the young girl’s stance.

But Gabrielle’s efforts go beyond painting in her bedroom. Her hope is to auction off her paintings and donate the proceeds to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

“Just because your race, or color of your skin, doesn’t mean you’re not human and we’re not in this together,” Gabrielle said.

News Channel 8 will keep you posted on Gabrielle Klapman’s efforts.

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