Putting on my Blackness, Annalee Davis, 1987
“It was not until years after I made this painting that I read Jean Rhys’ Smile Please – her unfinished autobiography. She wrote of a moment when she looked out her window onto a street carnival and was deeply aware of her separateness as a white Creole and longed to have been an integral part of what she could only be a spectator of.
Putting on my Blackness is a self-portrait where I look out the window in a vulnerable state, aware of the separate spaces a divided nation inhabits. Desirous to build real dialogue, I don a black skin, in an effort to bridge the divide.”