I was born into a segregated Houston. Two of my heroes – Congresswoman Barbara Jordan of my home state of Texas and Congressman John Lewis of Georgia – dedicated themselves to combating injustices, and their work followed me into the art world.

It was a cold December morning when I brought home my first car. It was missing a few pieces of sheet metal, the seats and an engine. It rolled into the driveway on the back of a wrecker.

In that penultimate scene from the movie “Ratatouille,” the stone-faced restaurant critic becomes teary-eyed over a version of the titular French dish. The stew reminds him of his dear mother.