“..[H]e is considered black because he experiences the world through black skin...,” she said, in response to my inquiry as to why we only regard former President Obama as America’s first black president rather than by his biracial ethnicity. I have posed this question, and others like it, to many individuals and it never fails that they place significance on skin color as a primary factor in how the social constructs of race and ethnicity are perceived. Isn’t it ironic that for many in the United States to “not see color”, exists in tandem with ascribing an individual with a label such as a “person of color”? Unifying the words skin and kinship, “Skinship,” recasts the appearance of ones skin color; creating a parallel between ones melanin and the royal and sacred patterns inspired by Ghanian Kente Cloth created for kings and noblemen.
Above: Skinship (Kente portrait I), acrylic, 2019
Above: Skinship (Kente portrait II), acrylic, 2019
Above: Skinship (Kente portrait III), acrylic, 2019
Above: Skinship (Kente portrait IV), acrylic, 2019