acrylic, resin, glitter glue on Baltic birch plywood, 2020. 120 x 20 x 2 inches
This piece conceptually answers the question of what it means to be black, informed by a complex view of the black and colored experiences in the United States. The new symbol honors and tells a story of every race, color, religion, nationality or gender who re-joined and continue to affirm Black Lives Matter. The work is inspired by Adinkra symbols and the Kente fabric design and four hundred years history from Ghana west Africa through the United States. Shapes and colors on the kente fabric holds a distinctive meaning signifying power, earth, strength, wisdom, wealth, community and ancestral spirit. Relatedly, Adinkra symbols encompass non-verbal communicative and aesthetic values, as well as the way of life. Each design in a letter communicates a unique concept or aphorism about democracy, unity, strength, dignity, death, royalty, freedom, beauty and legacy. The sense of total immersion created inherently by the symbols, forms and shapes and colors, echoes black love and joy an act that demonstrates a commitment to community, self-love and appreciation whilst highlighting the aesthetic beauty of the rich culture and values people of African descents. Symbolically, the piece emphasizes our royalty and heritage alongside honoring our ancestors through the African Burial Ground. Furthermore, I reference Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a Dream speech in 1963 in which he called for Freedom, civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States.