Black Power Project, 2014-ongoing
How does blackness transform whiteness? Many non-black pop stars gain status for appropriating black culture because that’s what sells. “Everybody wanna be a nigga but nobody wanna be a nigga,” comedian Paul Mooney famously said in a 2003 Chappelle’s Show skit. “Everybody” don’t see it as stealing because black culture is what’s hot and what’s hot is up for grabs. Only giving a nod to our skills they ignore the history and meaning behind our style. They want to be cool, but they have no idea that our “cool” is a coded language and our defense mechanism for surviving the dangerous conditions of life under white supremacy. When non-black people wear baggy clothes, cornrows, & grillz, use African American Vernacular English, and perform the music we created (to speak out about our oppression) they profit from our pain. It’s blackface without the makeup. I am completing the images as I imagined their promotional imagery would be if they went all the way.