An editorial piece created for In These Times magazine for a piece on what reparations should look like from the government.
Ink, Digital Color, 2019
A list of symbolism from this image:
Both of the figures are young, which represents reparations as a decision toward a better future.
There is a current trend in fashion of wearing chains, both characters wear such decorative chains to symbolize the narrative we are rewriting and reclaiming with things in the past that were used to harm us.
Both figures wear clothes that are both contemporary and have West African batik patterns to hark to a reclamation of culture that they tried to take from us. Similarly the figures have natural hair in traditional styles.
The bare feet also represents that past connection to the earth.
The mule is the only not solid figure as it subtly fades, representing reparations only as a concept at this point.
The petals thrown in welcome also double as symbols for blood shed from that past that is being transformed into reparations in the present.
Perhaps more obvious but, the white figure is striped of unique identifiers to represent the collective of white people. Though androgynous, the figure is received as more masculine representing those in power that created and upheld slavery.