As you know, I’m black. I paint, build and sometimes sculpt. And the color of my skin makes other people uncomfortable. Therefore, they concoct crazy questions to make themselves feel better and to let me know that “they feel my pain,sister”. I’ve come to accept this burden but that doesn’t stop it from being annoying as hell. The fact of the matter is, I’m not uncomfortable! I know what I look like, and I look damn good too. Like Fantasia Baron’s song, “I’m doing me” but that doesn’t make the questions HILARIOUS and stupid rolled into one. So I’ve decided to share a few, that I have the pleasure of being asked:
1) Do you feel awkward??You know ’cause you’re the only…..one….you know…blaaaack.
This is the most current question. A fellow art student asked me this while we were talking about Italy. Why would you ask that? Chances are, I didn’t feel awkward until you pointed that out. Of course , I know that I’m one of 3 black people at this opening. Of course, I spotted the only cute black man with a blue eyed white girl who wears Amish shoes and her great- grandma’s glasses. But what can you do?! That’s life in Austin.
2) How do you feel about Obama right now? You voted for him right?
3) Your hair is soooooo cool. I really wish I could do the same thing. How do you do that? Like, I know its an afro, but how do you get it to stand up like that??
Do not ask to touch my hair. Its not because your grabby fingers could “make my afro fall”, it is rude and after the 5th time, its annoying and unnecessary. I’m not a dog to pet. If you reach for my hair, I will slap your hand. Ask the guy who works at the Target in Addison, TX. I seriously bruised the dude.
4) What’s your art about? Is it about the movement of your people? Martin Luther King? Its about race right? No, well what could it be about?
Its unfortunate that because I am a dark skinned woman, my work is preconceived as addressing Africa and the African Diaspora. Yes, I (much like other peoples of color) have experiences that are inherently my own but that does not mean I’m focusing solely on those experiences. But yet again, its the world I live in….or is it?
I know this post sounds like an angry rant, but I find all these questions kind of funny and ridiculous. At the moment, I always have an “are you kidding me?!” look on my face, but later I grab a few friends and laugh about them. So, hopefully these made you laugh.