Forest [For The Trees]Houston, TX
Created with all intents and purposes to have myself be publicly accessed, watched, harassed, recorded and potentially murdered on camera to spur my community to create a call to action to protect and respect the lives and livelihoods of black people.
The performance, which resulted in the sculpture of the same name, is meant to illustrate the hard work black people have been doing in plain sight for hundreds of years.
The performance also served to create a space that illuminated just how unapproachable and potentially threatening many feel black people to be, even in the communities they reside within. I could see how many people couldn't recognize me as wholly or partially present in this skin until there was a trick being performed. Then and only then, would I or my artwork be seen as someone or something to behold. But, it never felt like a celebration for or of me, but for the artwork and what it meant for them to be in such close proximity to it.
This transformative experience has helped to break the crippling mental bonds that systemic white supremacy has had on my mind since childhood. I found my worth in the struggles of my ancestors which were also representative of the plights of my grandparents, and mother. I found gratitude and strength in their trauma and perseverance. I found a new love for black people and black ingenuity.
We are beautiful, intelligent, creative and defiantly resilient even in the face of 400 years of horrific treatment and systemic oppression. We will not be erased, replaced or displaced because this is ours. We cannot be separated from the plot, the narrative or the culmination of all the work that was and is currently being done to make this country all it claims or aspires to be.
This piece was created with the expressed intent in mind and with an intense and immense love, so that I may pay homage and give the highest honors to my ancestors, my mother and George Floyd.