As a Cape Verdean American, I investigate the idea of what it means to be of the African Diaspora in America. I also consider the experiences of past generations of American black bodies and how their history has molded my world. This series of work began with Mask Drawing 1, an ink drawing inspired by my own interpretation of an African mask. Subjected to colorism, the discrimination of a person based on their skin color, my skin was not enough validation for other people to view me as black. On numerous occasions I have had to clarify my identity, nationality and how these things qualify me as black. I was not perceived as black because I did not fit the stereotype society influenced us to believe, that black people all look, walk and talk a certain way. I did not fit because my skin was not dark enough, my hair wasn't the same texture, and my last name was Santos. This led me to question how I present myself versus how other individuals may perceive me. I wanted to create new artifacts that highlighted my experience of blackness in America. Through the abstraction of these artifacts I explore black identities and how they have change society for black people.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Visual Arts and Design
Emerging Media; Studio Art and the Computer
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Santos, Christopher, "The American Black Body: Materials,Symbols, and Representations from a Perceived African American" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5906.