Mixed media sculpture
altered antique bookends, first edition of James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time" and American Heritage Books
4'H x 2.5'W x 1'D

This sculpture began with a set of hand carved, blackface book ends from the reconstruction era. Originally depicting enslaved field workers, these book ends were meant to stand on their feet, hunched over holding together books with their rear ends. Through my alterations they now rest on the rear ends and sit atop a stack of problematic books which tell a one-sided version of American history from a white perspective. The book ends have been painted in an absurd version of whiteface and their charred feet prop up a first edition copy of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, a seminal text describing the realities of Black life in America. This sculpture imagines an alternative to the recent elimination of Critical Race Theory in our educational system and the banning of “controversial” books in white institutions and the prison industrial complex.