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How Blackface Feeds White Supremacy - The New York ...

How can we view Blackness in a way that does not empower White supremacy? For Black people, or People of Color, creating their own images is not enough. Some People of Color have been indoctrinated to the extent that they can only conceptualize the world through the lens of White supremacy. People that create Black images and Black texts should deeply and critically interrogate the framework from which they are departing, asking what the text communicates about Blackness, whether it challenges antiBlackness, or how it supports White supremacy. Hooks challenges us to consider that loving Blackness is a political and dangerous challenge to White supremacist culture (hooks, 1992).

How Blackface Feeds White Supremacy - The New York ...

It has been suggested that as a Black community we must develop a pedagogy that would allow Black people to engage in their popular culture in a manner that critically reconnects it with its historical, social, and political origins (Haymes, 1997). Detaching Black culture from its foundational contexts prevents it from serving as a functional dialectic to reevaluate the past, and understand the present. This will continue to have consequences for Black cultural identity, as well as for Black resistance.

How Blackface Feeds White Supremacy - The New York ...

I neither advocate separating Black culture from outsiders, nor preventing engagement between Black culture and White, but rather call for displacing the colonialist gaze that seeks to reinscribe White supremacy through the spectacular consumption of inauthentic images of Blackness. Consumption of commodified Blackness has not managed to challenge racist institutions on a mass level; therefore, this consumption of Blackness has not benefitted the Black community. The shared cultural space that has been forged through the consumption of Black popular culture could be fertile grounds for transgression beyond the appearances and beyond eating the other:

“My own and that of the people who saw in one of my creative projects an intolerable insult.” - Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele

Thus, although it is possible that White youth involvement in Black popular culture might provide at least some impetus for improved relationships between White and Black youth and, eventually, a challenge to some of the foundational elements of institutional racism, an analysis of this phenomenon as one of commodification and consumption points out that it is equally likely that White desire for, and pleasure from, Black culture might lead to the retrenchment and reinforcement of White supremacy rather than resistance and challenge. A dialectical approach to this issue allows us to understand that these seeming contradictors are actually articulated to one another as part of a greater whole—the continually changing nature of White supremacy in contemporary American culture. (Youman, 2003, p. 388) We must move beyond consumption to action

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