Anti-Blackness seems inescapably mixed into whatever context I place it into; literature, science, government, health, art... look into any “field” and see for yourself. My people have had to cry, scream, and fight for respect for centuries, and we still have not gained what we deserve. To move past the damage this has done to our society, we can’t simply deny our history—we must recognize it. We must acknowledge the many ways in which this country has perpetuated a racial hierarchy since these lands were first colonized and stripped from indigenous peoples, and Black people were stolen from their native land and brought to America.
In BLACK SNAFU (Situation Niggas: All Fucked Up), I appropriate various depictions of Black people that I find throughout the history of cartooning and juxtapose them with photographs that celebrate and line up more authentically with my Black experience. The photographs I create vary in subject matter; I seek to include celebratory self-portraits, didactic still lives, found imagery, and documentations of predominantly Black spaces in my community, allowing me to fight back against the history of the racist caricature that I reclaim in my work. By combining these ambivalent visual languages, I intend to expose to viewers America’s deplorable connection to anti-Black tropes through pop culture while simultaneously celebrating the reality of what it means to be Black.