Work Samples



Arist Statement

As an African-American Studies major, I found the Black Feminist knowledge andlanguage to be unseen in everyday Black worlds. Black Studies as an academic discipline cantend to exclude the most vulnerable voices that serve as the main topic of conversation, thus largely gatekeeping Black Studies only for Black scholars and elites to discuss. My work engages a particular praxis that believes that all Black folks should reap the benefits that a Black Studies education has to offer, not just Black students at Harvard and Brandeis. After completingmy first year at Brandeis, I possessed a hypersensitivity to the perupation of -isms and noticedcasual perpetuations of homophobia, transphobia, colorism, and many forms of anti-blacknesswere casually prepupated in my community. I want use art as a common language to translateBlack feminist theory that seems unacessible to working class, but actually has the potential for worldbuilding and communal healing.creating a zine to explore The Black Superwoman; “My country needs me, and if I were not hereI would have to be invented” is a quote from Spillers’ Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe is a quotethat repeats often in my mind as I am in the preliminary creation stages of this zine. Moreover,Sarah Baartman as an icon of Black female sexuality repeats in my work as well and thecomplexities and continuums of her story in reference to The Planation and the sexual, politicaleconomy of slavery.

Project Description:

The title of my lecture, ‘Us had the kind of love that couldn't be improved’ is derivedfrom Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Specifically, the moment where Celia talks about herabuse in the form of everyday relationship woes. I am interrogating this particular normalcysurrounding the shortcomings of Black love. Moreover, the amount of emotional, physical,financial, and spiritual labor required of Black women to simply fulfill their desires of love,safety, and/or financial stability needs to be explicitly addressed in community spaces. With that being said, I want to hold a public lecture and interactive installation for myemerging collective, Not Yo Superwoman. This lecture will be held in August and it will beentitled, “Us had the kind of love that couldn’t be improved’. In this lecture, I will be inconversation with my friend Cassipea (no pronouns). While our current research about TheInstitutionalization of Black Marriage and Black queer sexualities will inform the lecture, wewill center how the state has limited the extent to which Black people can love and celebrate thehow we have been able to love, in despite of white patriarchy’s hegemonic agendas. We hope to reach a resolution when we open up our conversation to a larger audience about how we can decolonize our ways of loving as a community in all interpersonal, intrapersonal, and communal ways.In this space, I would also like to implement a performative, interactive installation . Iwould like to have a casket. We will have a wake to view The Black Superwoman. On the casketwill read, the reasons why it, The Black Superwoman has died. The casket will read, “Death tothe Black Superwoman,” community members will bring items that represent their banishmentof the Superwoman in items that suit them best. As a community, we will hold a funeral servicefor the Black Superwoman and we will have a funeral service with a preacher sermon, eulogies,passage readings, singing, dancing. At the funeral and/or repass, we will be crocheting/knitting acommunal blanket. This honors the tradition of quilting and Black storytelling as we will be in avulnerable moment together. I also imagine us curating and creating our own communal altar tohonor our ancestors and their stories. We will bury the casket and then rejoice in a repass.Pictures will be taken during this service and all community members will come out of thefuneral and repass feeling more whole than they were before.In African spirituality, death is rebirth. As a community, we will collectively bury TheBlack Superwoman and remember her beyond her capacity to labor for the sexual polticaleconomy of slavery and her community. We will birth a new politic. How will that look? Howwill this politic meet the needs and wants of the most vulnerable. That is the question tointerrogate.