Putting on my Blackness (1987)

Acrylic on Canvas.

48”x60”                                                             Photo Credit – J. Abraham

Kathy Yearwood Collection

It was not until years after I made this painting that I read Jean Rhys’ Smile Please – her unfinished autobiography. She wrote of a moment when she looked out her window onto a street carnival and was deeply aware of her separateness as a white Creole and longed to have been an integral part of what she could only be a spectator of.

Putting on my Blackness is a self-portrait where I look out the window in a vulnerable state, aware of the separate spaces a divided nation inhabits. Desirous to build real dialogue, I don a black skin, in an effort to bridge the divide.

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