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Art Depicting the “State of the Black Athlete”

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The Undefeated website asked several artists of color to do art pieces that would depict how they see the “state of the black athlete”—“The cultural resonance, political awakening and activation of the black athlete, as told in pictures.”

Twelve artists did some very beautiful and thought-provoking works.

Adrian Brandon painted a Black sprinter running while looking forward with his shadow being a Black youth running while looking backwards. He said:

My goal with this illustration is to address the commonalities between black professional athletes and the black victims of police violence—it highlights the incredible amount of responsibility black athletes have and the role sports fans play in the current wave of athlete activism.

Brandon Breaux did an illustration of several Black athletes. He said:

Today’s current state of affairs feel special. I think it’s a time where the life of a black athlete/person is so much bigger than the self, and the athletes in my illustration represent the contemplation that comes with it.

Chase Conley’s art piece is of Huey Newton in his chair with athletic implements on him and around him. He said:

What Huey P. Newton has taught me is that I have the power to change my condition, and it’s vital that we stand up against the unjust and fight for what we believe in, even if the cost is high. Until these players start worrying about the issues concerning the state of black people in this country and not about their paychecks, they are still a part of the problem.

Tiffany B. Chanel did a painting of Tommie Smith and John Carlos with their clenched fists, Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, and Colin Kaepernick. She said:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Colin Kaepernick. In the face of explicit and implicit racism, everyday people rise selflessly to address social injustice. Among these people are African-American athletes, such as the ones in my painting, who use their public platform and their First Amendment right to solidify their purpose as change agents. Their primary goal is to rewrite the narrative of oppressed people and afford them a pathway to upward mobility.

Check it out.


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