Strategic Move II
Strategic Move II follows Strategic Move which has a Black boy as the subject. My series on Black children is centered on empowering Black children by showing them images of themselves participating in basic everyday activities outside of the stereotype of Black children. Strategic Move II shows a Black girl thinking while playing chess, not checkers. Her opponent is anyone who takes the space before her. I wanted intense rich warm colors to emphasize the energy of the mind when making decisions and acting on it. I wanted an innocence looking Black girl who displayed a quiet spirit, confidence, sophistication and intelligence verses the ghetto hood chick dumb stereotype of Black girls being loud and out of control. Colors used shows her versatility and ability to become who she needs to be at any given time. She is a thinker.
What we see effects our fashion, speech, opinions, politics and behavior. We are bombarded by all kinds of images from endless sources of media. The challenge is that some of the images reinforce stereotypes, misinformation, lies, opinions and personal truths. Finding the truth is an individual search. My goal is to stress the cliché’ that “life imitates art.” I want a majority of my paintings to follow that philosophy. Sadly some of my paintings are “art imitating life.”
After interviewing associates of mine from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds about their perception of Black children, I was not shocked but comfortably surprised by their honesty about their perceptions. The descriptions they shared with me focused on parenting and lack of exposure in the Black community, so they felt.
My paintings are a result of my conclusions from the interviews and my personal feelings and observations of Black children, including my own. I’m a firm believer that “images shape your reality.” Amon Rashidi said that first in my life about 25 years ago and I have observed how much the images that some of our children and adults observe, see and watch influences everything they do.