March April May 2013
36" tall x 33.3" wide
mixed media: paper, carving, latex enamel paint, wood on wood
The painted text in the work:
This old woman out there in Chalmette...one day -- Chalmette -- right over there. Me and her was there, I was in the kitchen doing my work and she's standing up there in the doorway asking questions.
About some colored folks she liked and some she don't, some of them so ugly, some of them so this, some of them so that. I let her talk.
When she got through I asked her, I said, "Don't you see some mighty frail looking -- " I said, "Us colored folks get at our house," I said, "We calls them peckerwoods." I said, "Some of them we call them rednecks." And she said "Huh?"
I said, "Yeah, you didn't know it? I said "Just like you find fault in the colored ones," I said, "the colored ones finds fault in you."
I KNOW THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG ABOUT THEM. THE REASON I NEVER COULD MAKE UP MY MIND TO LIKE THEM.
I said "Well, why you didn't explain all this the day they sent me here for a job?" I said "Do you think if I had known you was that type I would have even come here?"
YOU BETTER BE QUIET BECAUSE YOU CAN'T TALK -- I BE A HALF-SICK WOMAN. YOU'LL UPSET MY NERVES. I'LL TELL MY HUSBAND.
"Well, baby," I said, "You ain't got nothing to tell him," I said, "but just before I leave here," I said, "I'm going to give you something to tell him."
The Engraved words in the work:
tete-a-tete, woman to woman, peckerwoods abound
This piece has exhibited:
10.06 "Old School, New School, No School," Carbon County Cultural Project, Jim Thorp PA; AWARDED: "Best No School"
9.03 "8th Annual No Dead Artists: A Juried Exhibition of Louisiana Art Today," Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, juror: David S. Rubin, Curator of Visual Arts, CAC
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18" tall x 9" wide
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The engraved text:
She tried to grab on to the historical imperative, the bullwhip of her whiteness, but it was not close at hand. Where had history put it?
One hundred fifty years earlier: "He would at times seem to take great pleasure in whipping a slave. I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heartrending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, who he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood. The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped."
Chalmette, LA -- 150 years too late:
That strange fruit had re-rooted, gained massive traction at the Woolworth's counter, and had the audacity to order a vanilla Coke.
And then kicked some righteous ass. Not a minute too soon. Back up against the wall, yet feet firm and hips forward, she stood her dignity.
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I interviewed a woman about her grandmother, whose mother was a slave. At the end of our conversation, I asked her a little about herself.
This is what popped out.