For centuries, the stories, lineages, and cultures of people of color (POC) have been suppressed and erased. There are only three roles that POC are allowed to comfortably occupy in this country: gangsters, civil rights activists, and slaves. White history only finds POC relevant when they are one of the three options. Through my art, I aim to make the viewer question the notion of history as it has been taught to us. My project provides a space for POC to preserve their personal narratives without white history sugarcoating or whitewashing it.
In The Sugar That Doesn’t Melt, I use the seat of the storyteller to tell my own story. The cloth is dyed using a variation on a technique called African wax print which comes from West Africa, where my ancestors are from. The top layer uses embroidery my mother taught me and her mother taught her, and is reminiscent of German embroidery. Together, these pieces form my personal story in academia as a POC. The seat is intended to be seat for other POC to sit in a share their story in the safe space that the chair provides. THIS IS NOT A WHITE SPACE.