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Black Woman Artist Poses Nude at Former New York City Slave Trading Sites, Including Wall Street

Avatar • Jul 4, 2015
"From Her Body Came Their Greatest Wealth", Wall Street, New York from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

From Her Body Came Their Greatest Wealth”, Wall Street, New York, from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

New York has a reputation for being a melting pot, but it also has a strong history of slave trading. For her photo series, White Shoes, artist Nona Faustine wanted to call attention to that history and its enduring legacy.

As a time traveler I’m very invested in the past and our future. I see myself, the people who built this city and country as one. They deserve so much recognition for their sacrifice and contributions, something that is still being denied them. There was a force deep inside of me that needed to pay homage to those who played a pivotal role in the early history of this city, and the spaces in which they existed. I wanted to uncover those places where a tangible link to the past exists. Being a documentarian at heart I wanted you to feel and see those spaces, let your mind wonder. What does a Black body look like today in the place where they sold human beings 250 years ago? No other medium but photography and film could do that. ”

"They Tagged the Land With Trophies and Institutions From Their Conquests", New York City Hall from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

They Tagged the Land With Trophies and Institutions From Their Conquests”, New York City Hall, from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

Although American slavery is often painted as a Southern legacy, it was an integral part of the culture and economy of Northern states also, including New York;

Slavery was introduced to Manhattan (then New Amsterdam) in 1626 and, for two centuries, remained a significant part of New York life. In fact, the New York City Common Council declared Wall Street the city’s first official slave market on December 13, 1711, deeming it a space where human beings could be enslaved for the day or for the week. The slave market took the shape of a wooden structure with open sides, and held approximately 50 people at a time. It operated as such, on the corner of Wall Street and Pearl Street in the heart of the Financial District, until 1762. Slavery was legally abolished in New York in 1827.”

"Over My Dead Body", New York City Hall from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

Over My Dead Body”, New York City Hall, from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

The use of women’s bodies for sociopolitical reasons is still very controversial, particularly for black women. Black woman protesters recently marched topless during San Francisco rush hour to draw attention to police brutality against black women, a move that drew both admiration and criticism.

As for Faustine, shedding her clothes publicly was both exhilerating and challenging;

My eyes are wide open, and still I’m there and not there. My body is pumping with adrenaline. My anxiety is extremely high. During all that, you filter out as much abstractions as possible so that you can maintain some sort of composure for the camera as people, cars and buses go by. My senses are elevated. Sounds in particular I hone into. I have this feeling of being watched, by something or someone not actually there at times. I’m extremely aware of my presence in these places.”

"On This Spit Of Land Massa and I Reside", Pre-revolutionary Dutch Cemetery, Brooklyn from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

On This Spit Of Land Massa and I Reside”, Pre-revolutionary Dutch Cemetery, Brooklyn, from the White Shoes series, Copyright Nona Faustine

Faustine’s photo series was inspired in part by Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman, known as Venus Hottentot; a Khoikhoi African woman whose large buttocks and curvy figure were exhibited in freak shows throughout 19th century Europe.

As for the white shoes in Faustine’s photography, they represent “the white patriarchy that we cannot escape.”

What do you think of the White Shoes photo series?
You can find Nona Faustine on Instagram and Facebook.

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GHETOSPYDR
GHETOSPYDR
5 years ago

The point of the nakedness is what again??

s. cupcake
s. cupcake
5 years ago
Reply to  GHETOSPYDR

slavery something something oppression black on black crime

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

Lol! Trolling hard for the money.

Marisol
Marisol
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

You mention black on black crime like you really care.….NOT.

CaribbeanGlow
CaribbeanGlow
5 years ago
Reply to  Marisol

All races tend to perpetrate crimes against their own but this illustrates white on black crime ( to put it mildly). If we can cope you should be able to handle it. She made you squirm. Good.

understand562
understand562
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

see what you fail to realize is that black on black crime is a side notation associated with being taught self hate all goes back to the root of the issue slavery plz go educate yourself

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

Lol! Trolling hard for no money. Hilarious!

BklynSun3
BklynSun3
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

White on white crime is just as high. As most crimes are committed by people of one race against members of their own race. Your argument in invalid.

Jeff Jackson
Jeff Jackson
5 years ago
Reply to  GHETOSPYDR

Slaves were sold naked to show their physique.

Imani
Imani
5 years ago
Reply to  GHETOSPYDR

Did you read the article…or did you just look at the photos? The article clearly states her intentions for this piece.

KaseyJones
KaseyJones
5 years ago
Reply to  GHETOSPYDR

To get people to actually pay attention to her work. The photography “skill” here is severely lacking in terms of composition, lighting and aesthetic value. No one is going to look at her “art” for the sake of the art. However if you do it naked, you’ll get lots of attention directed to your work and your message.

PrepaidVisa
PrepaidVisa
5 years ago

This work is amazing. It made me cry. She looks scared yet she does this anyway. Hero.

Mosnet99
Mosnet99
5 years ago

I’m thinking the shoes are slightly too big to represent our people never being able to fit in the white patriarchy?

Aegis
Aegis
5 years ago

I am loving the boldness of my sisters

s. cupcake
s. cupcake
5 years ago
Reply to  Aegis

boldness? nobody wants to see that

UDownWithTPP
UDownWithTPP
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

Ur dumbass must have since you’re…um…here.

Jeff Jackson
Jeff Jackson
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

Yea, nobody wanted to be ripped away from their land, religion, loved ones, stuffed into the belly of ships, raped, beat, malnourished, enslaved..you get the point..but yet, my people got that..you dont want to see that because it reminds you of the evil that flows from your ancestor through you..kill yourself and do sonething positive for the world..end your curse

s. cupcake
s. cupcake
5 years ago

gross

AG
AG
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

Yes, it was and is gross that humans buy and sell other humans. Absolutely disgusting. She, however, is bold, powerful, beautiful and courageous.

thebravebird
thebravebird
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

Yeah, you are gross. Is trolling the internet paying off in self-esteem for you yet?

Marisol
Marisol
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

What’s the matter cupcake? Are you angry because despite the evil wickedness of your ancestors, this woman STILL RISE. You would never understand, that because you are the spawn of the lowest devils on the planet.…

Targetdog
Targetdog
5 years ago
Reply to  s. cupcake

Yes, selling nekkid slaves is gross…

Lynn Johnson
Lynn Johnson
5 years ago

Dude, WTF? Fuck you. Racist fuck.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Johnson

i’m black. now what? am i supposed to think it’s okay or great because she’s black?

why do people think getting naked is so awesome or courageous or brave?

people are swayed by everything.

Jeff Jackson
Jeff Jackson
5 years ago

This sister is amazing!! Her boldness is refreshing. This wouldnt be the same or have the same power if she were a model shape.

Annie
Annie
5 years ago

I am appalled

Mr.Artist
Mr.Artist
5 years ago
Reply to  Annie

What I am appalled at is the rights the Government and the Suprime Court has given to men being with men and women being with women. This sister is a true artist who seeks to bring to attention the real reason blacks are being oppressed and kills as if black lives doesn’t matter. This is a true expression of artistry that will live on for generation.

asher2789
asher2789
5 years ago
Reply to  Mr.Artist

i assume you are black, seeing that you’re on a black-interest website. perhaps you should look into intersectionality. the suffering of LGBT people, while different than that of black people, is still suffering. its still wrong. its still unacceptable. and thank god, us gays have made considerable strides towards acceptance by society that blacks still have yet to achieve (sadly, as shown by the never ending examples of police brutality, for starters). and anyways, men marrying men and women marrying women have no impact on your everyday life. supremacy however, does. those in power who hate LGBT people tend to… Read more »

Imani
Imani
5 years ago
Reply to  asher2789

you can’t change your skin color. i can’t change my sexuality.”

https://youtu.be/neEVoFODQOE?t=8m20s

I’m leaving this video here, because as someone who is both black and ID’s as part of the LGBT community, I want you to understand the two fights are similar, similar, but in no way shape or form the same. I think this video may help to better address what I’m trying to say.
The rest of your message has bits that I truly do agree with, no one should be mistreated, period.

kevin15776
kevin15776
5 years ago
Reply to  asher2789

I’m just sitting back enjoying these comments with some juice and popcorn.

Samantha
Samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  Mr.Artist
WouldyaLook
WouldyaLook
5 years ago

Kinda like your comment! Wouldya look at that…

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  WouldyaLook

Ha! So true. This is too real for these people.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  WouldyaLook

Ha! So true. This is just too real for these people.

Rolling Eyes
Rolling Eyes
5 years ago

…and let me guess: you’re sitting at home super worried about her health, right? Don’t mask your hatred/disgust for what you see as “concern” to make yourself feel better or appear more righteous. You don’t have to like everything, or like her body…but just be honest and say that.

Audrey Black
Audrey Black
5 years ago

She has nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. How many can say that? Empowering and liberating.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Audrey Black

Damn straight.

Don Fallen
Don Fallen
5 years ago

She is amazing in expressing the power of a Black woman. Some say it’s a disgrace, but you are a disgrace for not knowing and realizing the true meaning of her display…

omfg
omfg
5 years ago
Reply to  Don Fallen

a black person who doesn’t appreciate this is not a disgrace. i mean, i hope you’re kidding.

Imani
Imani
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Reread what they wrote. Because that is not what was said at all.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

omfg — I hope you’re suffering from a serious head injury that would explain the stunning shallowness of your pitifully facile perspective.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Don Fallen

Damn right.

Debopriya Ghosh
Debopriya Ghosh
5 years ago

Internet.. people talking about being ‘real’ under the veil of anonymity. If you don’t get this then of course this is not your reality. But the real shame is people like you denying other’s reality.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

i promise, this work is not all that deep. i wish people would stop acting like it is.

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Then make some of your own art instead of criticizing others, sockpuppet.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Lol! I promise that this is just your personal opinion. I wish people would stop acting like their viewpoint is the end all to be all. Hilarious!

BluegumSubhumans
BluegumSubhumans
5 years ago

Yeah, because you’ve obviously been living the reality of slavery, or maybe you haven’t. Apparently, evil, probably white people, have been denying you your delusion?

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

Lol! Another obsessed barnyard troll. Hilar!

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago

We live the reality of over entitled nitwits who are too compliant to see they’re just the pale house n****** of a racist system to this day.

Least you could do is get your head out of the sand. They hate you too.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  Nicole Lasher

Oh it’s not black. This is just the typical, pathologically obsessed with black people barnyard troll in action. It’s been fed enough now.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

” i contrasted it with the other low level, supposed art works in the same museum and just wanted to hurl.”–Lol!

This “supposed” art critic gave itself away with that one line.
Their incessant need to forget/silence/ignore anything about this country’s ugly past with slavery, because it makes them uncomfortable/ashamed is quite apparent–so trust–it got it!

CaribbeanGlow
CaribbeanGlow
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Yep! Sista made them squirm, which is what great art does. It may not be in a museum. It’s performance art. Anyhoo, art is beauty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

Lol! You’re a complete joke and so transparent. Just simply hilarious.

Marisol
Marisol
5 years ago

That took guts.….Why should she be ashamed? This is how her ancestors were sold. Naked

Ti'Yon Cruz
Ti'Yon Cruz
5 years ago

Its funny how people are saying gross and claiming no one wants to see it. Well I want to see it. She’s beautiful, her body is beautiful. If you don’t want to see it , then why click on the article to read and view it ? That makes you look like a simpleton for real. She’s bold and courageous. People are saying we want to be here and a whole bunch of other ignorant bs but it was the WHITE man that brought us here and before you I get negative comments about Africans selling other Africans, do your… Read more »

Saxdude
Saxdude
5 years ago
Reply to  Ti'Yon Cruz

The first slave owner in the United States was an African American. He won a court case that set the precedent for slavery in the U.S. Anthony Johnson was his name. Learn history.

Micki
Micki
5 years ago
Reply to  Saxdude

correction — He was the 1st BLACK slave owner NOT the 1st slave owner. There is a difference

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Ti'Yon Cruz

BOOM. Headshot. Perfect comment. Nice one Ti’Yon.

creegal
5 years ago

I never really cared much for naked artist performances…I get the drift though.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  creegal

Good for you.

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago

My only disagreement is with the “patriarchy” stance. Slavery was not something that rich “white” men did by themselves without women, nor was Jim Crow the exclusive domain of men. Just about all “white” supremacists and those complicit are raised to be this way by their mothers. Under the current racist system, the only thing western style feminism has done for us is give us more opportunities to continue to take care of their children and clean their house for minimum wage or less, while they pursue their “liberation”. We don’t find any real freedom in that movement, and I… Read more »

omfg
omfg
5 years ago
Reply to  Nicole Lasher

patriarchy is not a while male invention. african men are not exactly known for being egalitarian when it comes to when. that’s a fantasy.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

patriarchy is not a while male invention.”–And where in her comment does she states that it was?!? Lol! Your deflection tactic is so transparent. But your black of course, so I’m sure this wasn’t the intent. Hilar!

omfg
omfg
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

reading is fundamental.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Nicole Lasher

That’s a pretty brilliant comment to make. I’ve been shocked by how cruel women can be to women, and Western-style feminism is, as you say, so focused on making everything men-vs-women that it absolves the female element of oppression from existence, let alone examination. Really well said. Great stuff.

Lyndsey Lovelady
5 years ago

Great story behind the photos, terrible execution. Lighting is terrible. Is this person an actual photographer or someone who just claims to be because she owns a camera?

Roy Jones
Roy Jones
5 years ago

A powerful statement and a reminder of how deeply slavery was woven into America’s culture, politics and economy.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Roy Jones

Damn right.

Kristene Crawley
Kristene Crawley
5 years ago

Nuts

SoCalGal
SoCalGal
5 years ago

This is amazing. Our ancestors were stripped of their dignity in every possible way, including being paraded before slave buyers naked. These photos show the indignity but also takes it back. Brava.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  SoCalGal

Exactly. Amazing stuff, brilliantly said.

Mary Fran
Mary Fran
5 years ago

Powerful. But I don’t suffer from white guilt.

ohgodwhitepeople
ohgodwhitepeople
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Fran

yes just whiteness.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago

As a white person I approve this message.

asher2789
asher2789
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Fran

good for you?

P-Lang
P-Lang
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Fran

You don’t need to, just be aware of the privilege you have by being white, try not to take advantage of it.

Chrissie
Chrissie
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Fran

What an odd thing to say?

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Fran

Or human depth, apparently.

Kinny Winter
Kinny Winter
5 years ago

this is so chilling. moves me to action.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Kinny Winter

Brilliant.

Jackie Isis Dawson
Jackie Isis Dawson
5 years ago

Praises to you sister for being so brave demonstrating how it was when we were being sold like cattle!!!!!!!!

CU1
CU1
5 years ago

I disagree. While I applaud her for her message, this was really unnecessary and inconsiderate of mankind in general who viewed her, either in person or in pictures online. Bravery is not always worthy of being publicly hailed.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago

It really is amazing work.

Elizabeth Grace Van Dyke
Elizabeth Grace Van Dyke
5 years ago

So, the artist’s point is lost on you because you can only look at this one-dimensionally? I suppose, if she sported the same physique as her ancestors, who were bought and sold, you would have had no problem looking. It is easier to turn a blind eye when you can convince yourself there’s a valid reason for not being able to see. How very poignantly you represent the uncomfortable message the artist is making.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

How very poignantly you represent the uncomfortable message the artist is making”–This visceral and primal reaction that you’re seeing here, shows that it worked.

Kudos to her–mission accomplish.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

Ha! You need more people.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

i’m black. my ancestors stood on those auction blocks too. so…

it’s not that i don’t “get” it. it’s that i don’t think it’s as deep or profound or genius as many of you.

Imani
Imani
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

No…it’s clear that you don’t get it. Very clear. Or else the nakedness of her body would be a trivial matter in the grand schemed of the powerful message she is trying to convey.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

As someone else mentioned, she would made a “fine wet nurse and/or breeder.” Those white slave masters would have been stumbling over themselves trying to outbid eachother.

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago

Your skin may be brown, but you’re far, far away from African consciousness. You should know that conformity to “white” supremacy doesn’t make them like you more or consider you more human. In fact, you lose their respect when you disrespect your own people. Somewhere in the back or maybe front of your mind, is the voice of a “white” supremacist saying, “Good n*****, safe n*****.” Things happened. This artist is reenacting things that actually happened, just in a modern context. Your inability to accept what you are seeing does not make her a coward or immoral. It makes you someone… Read more »

omfg
omfg
5 years ago
Reply to  Nicole Lasher

lol.

i’m not african, i’m black american. and i have no idea with african consciousness is, considering that CONTINENT is so incredibly diverse.

i never called her a coward or immoral. and i don’t understand what my position has to do with being a self-hating or whitey-loving black person. i don’t have to like everything a black person produces, including this.

strange that you assume that because i don’t think she is clever that i believe in covering up the less pleasant aspects of history. hmmmm.

kevin15776
kevin15776
5 years ago
Reply to  Nicole Lasher

So there’s no room for different views? I too get the message but don’t find it particularly eye opening or moving.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  kevin15776

This message is not for you.

Of course you would not be moved by an artistic reconstruction of the indignities and horrors perpetrated by your ancestors. If you were, that would mean that you actually have empathy.

kevin15776
kevin15776
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

My “ancestors” weren’t even in the US up until the early 1900s and they all settled in Brooklyn. My father didn’t move to North America till the 70s. His family is still back in Denmark. I was adopted from Colombia in 1982.

kevin15776
kevin15776
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

Oh?? Please tell me who my ancestors were…

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago
Reply to  kevin15776

Culturally erased people of European ancestry who sold out to be tools of the elite…but that didn’t work out so well for you because all that defending the elite and believing yourself to be superior didn’t work out well for you, keep your family together, keep your sisters from being whores, or make your mother love you more. So you’re angry and disenchanted, but instead of abandoning the mentality that makes you miserable, you look outside for solutions…who to blame that the fairytale you were sold did not come true. Since African American women seem like easy targets, you pick… Read more »

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  kevin15776

LOL. I just read through some of your postings in Disqus threads, and I’m surprised your avatar isn’t the stars and bars or a swastika. Your ancestors are the men that strung us up in trees when ever they felt threatened, as your brethren do now with our women in jail cells. Your ancestors visited countless violences on the bodies of our men, women, and children, not to mention our infants and unborn. Your people continue this “tradition”. Your ancestors supported and your people continue to uphold legislation that systematically puts almost everyone in our culture at a disadvantage from birth. Do… Read more »

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago
Reply to  kevin15776

Then you are welcome to pass on by because this was not done to heal you.

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago
Reply to  kevin15776

I’ll add that nobody expects or needs you to get it or to approve. Why you assume that everything is about you or done for you is part of the problem.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  Nicole Lasher

“white” supremacist saying, “Good n*****, safe n*****.””–Ha! These “supposed” cloaked in black bodies types, don’t even realize that they’re laughing at them just as hard as we are. It’s truly comical to watch self-hatred in full glory.

Joshua J
Joshua J
5 years ago

YASS!! and in this moment I feel so liberated. I pay homage to you! #whyIloveblackwomen

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Joshua J

Good man.

Adriana Devine
Adriana Devine
5 years ago

Awestruck. Incredible art, and story, and artist.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Adriana Devine

Exactly. Amazing work here.

noname
noname
5 years ago

wow. thats rude. you are not even understanding what ancestors mean huh? he did not do anything and should not be blamed for what a select few did, also blacks owned slaves in Africa.

Marisol
Marisol
5 years ago
Reply to  noname

You have no name for a reason. Apparently you are the one that don’t know what ancestors mean. Blacks having slaves in Africa, and whites having slaves in America are totally to different things. The blacks in Africa were not responsible for the vile and heinous treatment of Americans slaves. Europeans also owned Europeans slaves and the the same goes for slave ownership in most countries, so why should Africa be any different? The difference with you people are that you decided to go into other countries to enslave their people…Typical of satan…

Avi Marranazo
5 years ago
Reply to  Marisol

The White man didn’t start slavery, but he did end it, at great expense to himself, which is more than we can say for some peoples. BTW, learn to properly use the English language and our communication media before you post again.

Marisol
Marisol
5 years ago
Reply to  noname

By the way, in America the “select few” as you call them, were all white Americans. So cut the bs with the select few

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

you know, i just finished reading, “the half that has never been told”. so, this slave history, etc. is actually fresh in my mind. i’m actually quite into slave history right now. i love reading about it and learning about it. perhaps this is why i look at this and feel so unmoved and unimpressed by what i see. what i read in that book was a whole lot more moving and impressive. i don’t find these enlightening at all. i find them self-indulgent. if i want to learn more about the experiences of black americans as portrayed in art, the… Read more »

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Lol! Sweetheart, it’s not what was said, but how it was said. You keep giving yourself away. Your tone and remarks, makes your attempt to shame this quite apparent.

You may not be “easily impressed” but your need to “impress” others of this, is what makes reading you so easy.

What’s truly weird is that you forgot to add that you have black friends too.

Imani
Imani
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

i’m actually quite into slave history right now.”
That sounds mighty close to something else. Regardless, there are many different types of art, be it in books, photography, music etc. Why does this particular piece have you up in a tizzy? If you feel it’s “not art” then why are you even viewing it? Why does it seem in the various comments you’ve left that you are trying incredibly hard to discredit this? What personal issue, bc it does appear to be a personal issue, do you have with this artist? It seems to go beyond this piece.

CleverBev
CleverBev
5 years ago

What a powerful piece. Isn’t it ironic now that black women are castigated for having “too many” children, when our bodies and their issue were once the REAL source of white American wealth? What is “valuable” in one context is demonized in another. Although the intersections of color, gender, and American economics continue to be too troubling for many to discuss with honesty, this artist has brought honesty (and controversy) to the table. Brava to her for putting “history” into context.

Nancy Green
Nancy Green
5 years ago
Reply to  CleverBev

Continuing to be dependent on the government for your livelihood, ie. welfare is to keep one’s self in slavery. This kind of slavery comes in many colors!

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  CleverBev

real source of American wealth? and you built the pyramids and invented everything too, that’s why Africa is so great today

Camille
Camille
5 years ago
Reply to  CleverBev

The south has NEVER recovered from the loss of their most valuable resource.

Shannon Evans
Shannon Evans
5 years ago

It just sounds like it challenges all of your white supremacist indoctrination and makes you uncomfortable so you try to intellectualize it with pretentious condescension… but what do I know? I could be wrong

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  Shannon Evans

No you’re not wrong. This simpleton is desperately trying to convince everyone that they’re not white. As if that makes a difference when it comes to their ignorance.

You are not wrong at all.

asher2789
asher2789
5 years ago

perhaps you should look up the artwork known as “venus of willendorf”. large women have been celebrated for their appearances in the form of art for millennia.

ill save you some time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Willendorf

LorMarie
5 years ago

I just can’t get behind this. The boldest anti-racist, anti-slavery statement that I can make is to show success and triumph, not to look back to slavery. This is not helping black women, IMO. No offense to the artist.

Penny Andra
Penny Andra
5 years ago
Reply to  LorMarie

You are absolutely right, this will have no impact on this society now or the one to come.

Ema Bell
Ema Bell
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Penny,
Sorry to tell you this but this woman has already made an impact. The proof is the conversation happening at this moment. Thank you contributing. Art always has an impact on society. That is why they kill the artists first during the initial phases of a genocide. I look forward to the seeing artist who can make this statement without the white shoes.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

You will have no impact on this society, now or the one to come.

Elizabeth Hahn
Elizabeth Hahn
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

i wouldn’t say it isn’t having an impact. i think it is clear by some of the comments here that some people have certainly been impacted. you have no idea how that will manifest it self now or in the future. just because you are short sighted doesn’t mean that everyone else is also.

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
5 years ago
Reply to  LorMarie

why? we forget history at our peril.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  sabelmouse

Agreed–seems like a lot of these posters don’t actually frequent this site, if you catch my drift. Hit dogs will holler.

BlueCornMoon
BlueCornMoon
5 years ago
Reply to  sabelmouse

I’m a retired inner city TEACHER. I taught my students all about slavery & how our ancestors were treated and that the best way to honor them is to know their history & TO BE SUCCESSFUL ! To ignore pop culture nonsense about paying attention to what people look like, nasty degrading rap music , cursing, booty songs , & pants on the ground. They should study their history & USE THEIR MINDS !! I can’t see why so many people think this woman walking around naked takes courage& makes a powerful statement. You can see naked & half naked… Read more »

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  LorMarie

That’s just a really shallow way of looking at this entire thing.

Diana Ross Hurtado
Diana Ross Hurtado
5 years ago
Reply to  LorMarie

That is my opinion also. I dont see really what is the point on doing this. First of all, why look back at slavery? We have to deal with the slavery that is in the present and that exists only in our minds. If we want to end it, we got to start with ourselves first. Plus… I honestly believe going nude is disrespecting your own self worth and respect. This,nuditity only serves the purpose of attention to self.

CaribbeanGlow
CaribbeanGlow
5 years ago

Yep! Sista made them squirm, which is what great art does. It may not be in a museum. It’s performance art. Anyhow, art is beauty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

boazwife
boazwife
5 years ago

WOW powerful artistry!!!

Art is a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities, usually involving imaginative or technical skill. Art may be characterized in terms of mimesis (its representation of reality), expression, communication of emotion, or other qualities.

Tiffany Anthony
Tiffany Anthony
5 years ago

Wow. Powerful.

Dejah
Dejah
5 years ago

I don’t know how i feel about this. On the one hand, “the people you see nekkid, are never the ones you WANT to see nekkid, LOL.” Being a fellow fat person, I have body issues, I am pretty sure this woman battles. It was pretty brave, knowing how hateful people can be to fat people for just existing with their clothes ON. On the other hand, this is powerful for me personally. My people were founders of New Jersey and Massachusetts. I don’t know if they were slave holders. They quite possibly could have been. I hope not. My furthest… Read more »

Army Officer (Ret)
Army Officer (Ret)
5 years ago

Slavery is, and was, a very bad thing, so I hate to be the one to inject the history lesson, but a very large percentage of slaves bought and sold in New York were, in fact, Irish… and a lot of slaves were men.

http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-the-forgotten-white-slaves-says-expert-john-martin-188645531–237793261.html

Neterti Ma'at Ra
Neterti Ma'at Ra
5 years ago

Bigg difference between American slavery and indenture servitude. No where in the history of this Earth as slavery been as barbaric, ruthless, gruesome, and disgusting as the enslavement imposed on Africans. Furthermore, no other slavey benefitted other racial/ethnic groups and built an entire ecomonic system worldwide like the enslavement of Africans. So, keep your “his”-story lesson, and let’s not downplay the enslavement of 100+ million people, shall we? People in this coubtey have been doing it for too long and it’s insulting.

rasil4u
rasil4u
5 years ago

In fact they were, but nothing reaches the exponential “large number”, nor the duration of time that Africans were enslaved. Additionally, the Irish were not under the system of chattel slavery.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  rasil4u

you don’t know jack

Camille
Camille
5 years ago

I think the irish can remember and honor their own slaves.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago

And a lot of internet commentators are desperate to sound like they have something relevant to say because their lives are pointless and they have nothing to offer a world that treats them, rightly, as irrelevant.

Lula
Lula
5 years ago
Free Tea
Free Tea
5 years ago

Stop. The Irish were indentured servants, a far cry above slavery. The difference is that while we were getting our backs split open for not working fast enough, the Irish men you refer to were doing the splitting. Please show me photos of Irish people having their children fed to alligators. Show me pictures of Irish men with ropy whip scars across their entire bodies. Show me Irish women with their heads forcibly shaved or scarred bald from punishment in the form of lye.

You can’t. Have a seat.

El Deplorable
El Deplorable
5 years ago

True (or at least indentured servants). The only difference is that the Irish were still white. When black and white slaves were freed in NYS, the Irish were still at a higher social level than blacks were.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

Because this somehow takes away from the reality of black slavery. SMH.

Derek Stewart
Derek Stewart
5 years ago

And your point is? She isn’t saying that all slaves in New York were black. She is simply making a statement about the ones who were.

chris968
chris968
5 years ago

Very powerful pictures. Brava to the artist for having the courage to do these pictures.

Penny Andra
Penny Andra
5 years ago

Nasty looking body, and what impact will this really make??

als
als
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

A Beautiful body, a beautiful mind, beautiful intention. you with a nasty soul, remove yourself from judgment and see the bigger picture or speak not at all. ones like you drive hatred in this already struggling world.

Sari Makedah Moffatt
Sari Makedah Moffatt
5 years ago
Reply to  als

Yes this is art. Dosent matter what one person deems negative talking about her body is irrelevant. It’s her message, her fearlessness, tenacity. Her body style is not the point. There is always one who messes things up for everybody else.

P-Lang
P-Lang
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

First off there is no wrong way to have a body, so good job with that on-point judgmental middle-age middle-class white bitch act.
Second do you not watch the news? Do you know that the Jim Crow era ended but racism and DENIAL of racism are still writhing around like a swarm of maggots in shit?
Art is directly reflective and influential on culture. Something you would not be aware of considering your view of art is probably the mass produced prints at Target, that are made by slave labor.

Have a nice day in your white patriarchal mindset.

Annette Jordan
Annette Jordan
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

That woman has more beauty, strength and integrity than you will ever know. Shame on you! And if you have to ask, you don’t get it and it’s not for you to understand.

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago
Reply to  Annette Jordan

YESSS!!!!

Sari Makedah Moffatt
Sari Makedah Moffatt
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Makes lots of impact. A lot of people have been blessed with the truth after reading this article. You are seeing with narrow eyes. So sad.

Nikki Miller
5 years ago

Amen! Some people rather be lead like sheep than open to look past the superficial and find the true message

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago

exactly!

Marisol
Marisol
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Do you realize that your photo is being viewed by others? Your face doesn’t look any better than her body…

m dion
m dion
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Not sure why you are bothering with looking at theses photos Penny, and then take the time to comment …you should talk about why you find a need to be a voyeur of large women at your next appointment with your therapist.

BlueCornMoon
BlueCornMoon
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

This proves absolutely nothing except that she walked around naked. Sojourner Truth & Harriet Tubman did a much better job ‚that’s why we remember them & hopefully see Harriet on a $20 bill.. This women will be laughingly forgotten before week’s end. EPIC FAIL !

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Read your history books hpney. Slaves were often sold naked to prove their health, child bearing ability, etc. Study up girl!

Iron Lady
Iron Lady
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

It will make her look like an over weight woman with not dignity or pride.

Mjolnir's Rage
Mjolnir's Rage
5 years ago
Reply to  Iron Lady

It will make her look…? You mean “I THINK it will make her look…” Acting like your horrible opinion is the consensus…she still has a great body, probably much better than yours…and yes her dignity and pride is intact because she didn’t do it for views like Rihanna or some other video whore…sorry to break it to you but this won’t make Yahoo or the front page…it was done for reflection and for everyone to admit, confront and realize the truth that Wall Street and other such places were built off the backs of slaves who looked more or less… Read more »

joynow26
joynow26
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

you are so awful for saying that. obviously you don’t know the great impact that COURAGE can make because you don’t have any!

P.A.N.D.A.
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Your response is an impact. You exposing yourself for the unconscious fool that you are is an impact.

Sarah Edwards
Sarah Edwards
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Nasty Penny. Look in the mirror.

Jemster
Jemster
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Nasty looking soul you have there. Please exit the comment section. There is a door to your left. Don’t let it hit your ass on the way out. Thank you and I would say have a great day but in the end I wouldn’t really mean it.

Elizabeth Hahn
Elizabeth Hahn
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

nice penny. way to body shame. i would rather have her body, than your nasty, hateful attitude. slaves were paraded around naked when they were being sold. i found it very profound her standing in the place, where women would have been standing hundreds of years ago, to be sold as property. and it is obvious by your statement, that for people like you, this will make no impact. how sad.

sparkle judy
sparkle judy
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Rather have a ‘nasty’ body than a nasty soul.

Penny Andra
Penny Andra
5 years ago

Slavery has been around from the beginning of time, you need to read some history books.

P-Lang
P-Lang
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

yes. poor white people. they need to be included too. white people have suffered the most. white pain is the most important.

Lioness Sheeda
Lioness Sheeda
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

good excuse for the inhumane ancestors u came from

Mary Dorsey-Driskell Waller
Mary Dorsey-Driskell Waller
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

American slaveholders were evil,murderous and took slavery to a whole new level because of their greed and feelings of superiority. no where in the world was slaves treated as they were here.…

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

You need to shut your mouth until you have something to say that doesn’t mark you out as sickening, screeching scum.

Cheri
Cheri
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Penny, does that somehow make it OK? Does its long time existence somehow negate the impact slavery had on the US, primarily those here of African descent?

Rachael
Rachael
5 years ago
Reply to  Penny Andra

Did you seriously come to this article to try to justify THE most shameful part of white American history by saying it’s always existed? The whites who enslaved people, and allowed other whites to enslave people, WERE inhuman and cruel. Why don’t YOU read a history book instead of embarrassing yourself.

Chinita
Chinita
5 years ago

He (Anthony Johnson) was not the first slave owner. He was the first “Black” slave owner. He himself was a slave before gaining his own freedom. Oh and one of the five slaves he bought was his own son. This was quite common for free slaves to buy their own family, if they could.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

forget the slave trade we need to reinstate the New Bedford whaling industry

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

That was incredibly insensitive and rude.

skepticismishealthy
skepticismishealthy
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Coward. You post a cheap insult, and won’t even sign it because you can’t stomach being called out on it.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

lol

Tanya English
Tanya English
5 years ago

Brave and amazing! For those who think she’s “nasty” looking ‑we see in others what we see in ourselves.

Chrissie
Chrissie
5 years ago

Exactly, you should try it.

wfs
wfs
5 years ago

Right up there with William Pope L. and Kara Walker.. this bold beautiful vulnerable genius woman, Nona Faustine.

BlueCornMoon
BlueCornMoon
5 years ago

When are women gonna get over this dumb idea that they need to strip naked to prove something about the human body or to get some point across?. Some teen guys just made rude remarks about this woman’s body, just like they did about all those topless black women marching a few weeks ago. The point they’re trying to make is totally LOST because folks are looking at their bodies. Any fool with half a brain should be able to figure that out. Shows how women have been brainwashed to think they have to use their bodies & sexuality to… Read more »

Free Tea
Free Tea
5 years ago
Reply to  BlueCornMoon

You missed the entire point if you think her nudity is a display of sexuality.

BlueCornMoon
BlueCornMoon
4 years ago
Reply to  Free Tea

I see it as a useless display of nudity that will be forgotten for its lack of real substance. There’s been nothing else written about her since the summer.A curiosity & a flash in the pan,then gone. However,they’re still talking about Michelle Obama who’s been encouraging black kids to go to college, ballerina Misty Copeland is in a Broadway show, Viola Davis is still burning up the screen in HTGAWM & Cecily Tyson plays her mom, Marian Anderson & Audra McDonald are still inspiring young women singers, Harriet Tubman has been suggested for possibly being on a $10 bill &… Read more »

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago
Reply to  BlueCornMoon

You cannot judge her, she is a very brave woman. Don’t judge others.

Darian Bacon
Darian Bacon
5 years ago
Reply to  BlueCornMoon

The display of nudity is not to convey the concept of sexuality, but the concept of vulnerability.

skepticismishealthy
skepticismishealthy
5 years ago
Reply to  BlueCornMoon

Hmm, smells like Hotep.

ChooseyNKC
ChooseyNKC
5 years ago
Reply to  BlueCornMoon

Your post just proved how ignorant folk are.

Nikki Miller
5 years ago

I love her bravery, at the end of the day art is meant to be controversial and a platform that challenged the “status quo.” I support freedoms of expression that ignites critical thinking and dialogue. So many of us are so wrapped up in superficial bullsh*t and being prim and proper aka “plastic.” This woman is an ARTIST and art isn’t meant to be censored or packaged in a way that’s neat and easy for everyone to stomach. Art is provocative and uncomfortable and in your face! Thank God for people like her who still have a damn pulse and… Read more »

A.
A.
5 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Miller

What’s uncomfortable about her pictures?

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago

Well if you think about the history of selling slaves, they were usually naked to show their strength or childbearing ability or other $ making issues. Being naked ABSOLUTELY means something here.

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago

Shame on you

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago

Wow, you are clueless as to the real point in this. Shame on you.l

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago

You are an idiot, you just proved it to the world.

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago

And you look like an uneducated fool

jaskjk
jaskjk
5 years ago

Please stop proving your ignorance!!!

Sherrell Phillips Lopez
Sherrell Phillips Lopez
5 years ago

I actually think the message is powerful BUT in this day and age being 2015, most people will not pick up the message as it was intended to be, they will focus on the visionary being the (her) body issues and the (so-called) issues “they” have with why and how she exposed her body. In those days, bought and sold slaves did NOT have a choice as to whether they wanted to be fully exposed or not.…it was forced upon them to be naked and I believe everybody (today) KNOWS that. I don’t think she needed to ‘recreate’ that visionary… Read more »

Camille
Camille
5 years ago

You can be knowledgeable about both histories. I’m not ashamed to have ancestors that were slaves. I’m proud to be their descendant. We need to do a much better job of honoring and remembering them as they truly were. White history keeps them largely nameless and faceless on purpose and when we “put it behind us and move on”, we are desecrating their memory like we’re supposed to do. Taking an AA history class was life changing for me. I actually find black people who are the least informed to suffer from slave mentality the most.

Candice White
Candice White
5 years ago

You are the one who is ignorant I may not agree with her but she has the right to do this.

Anna Johnson
Anna Johnson
5 years ago

You loo fat yourself , so you’re you to call someone fat????

Anna Johnson
Anna Johnson
5 years ago

@Stormy Gabriel … You look fat yourself, so who are you to call someone fat ??????

ChooseyNKC
ChooseyNKC
5 years ago

If you are embarrassed by this article then you should also be embarrassed about slavery and how inhumane it was. What you see is what blacks got during slavery. Butt naked and striped of ones humanity.

$37598105
$37598105
5 years ago
Reply to  ChooseyNKC

Oh please, stop being ignorant.

Cleogrrl
Cleogrrl
5 years ago
Reply to  ChooseyNKC

She’s an American, commenting on American slavery.

Sirius Jones
Sirius Jones
5 years ago

When and where was this poor woman enslaved? It’s quite brave of her to stand up to her captors, but the government needs to know where the slave operations are in New York right now so they can put an end to it. If there’s some Somali pirates or something over there we should really know about it.

motorfingaz
motorfingaz
5 years ago
Reply to  Sirius Jones

Shut up fool

Jordan Wilson
Jordan Wilson
5 years ago
Reply to  Sirius Jones

She’s making a statement about the history of her community and pointing out that slavery’s legacy continues today in the form of white supremacy.

eljjai
eljjai
5 years ago

I never approve of nudity in publiv for any reason. Also nudity has been overdone.Everybody and their grandmother has gotten naked to prove a point. It’s lost its impact. Yes slaves were sold naked but was there no other more creative way to express that vulnerability? Think outside the box: “they were naked so I’ll be naked”- is a very short thought process. I also think conversations about slavery is all we ever seem to have nowadays. Is there no other worthwhile topic? how about more on the civil rights era. more on the uplifting people who helped end slavery or… Read more »

Sirius Jones
Sirius Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

An activist set himself on fire not too long ago. That gained a lot of attention, so I think that might be a good idea to raise awareness and make a point.

ItsTrue
ItsTrue
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

it made a deep enough impact on you to write a paragraph about it…

Cozza Frenzzy
Cozza Frenzzy
5 years ago

yeah but only black lives matter.… so peddle that bs somewhere else..

Joseph Martin
Joseph Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Cozza Frenzzy

I thought you were being sarcastic. You DO believe that “only Black lives matter?” I find your candor refreshing. If I’ve misunderstood I apologize.

UDownWithTPP
UDownWithTPP
5 years ago

Your calling viewing her pics an atrocity? Real nice 🙁

UDownWithTPP
UDownWithTPP
5 years ago

Where are all the bruthas? LOL–most comments are from women.

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  UDownWithTPP

Er, last time I saw, they were off/busy pursuing their white gods.

Toya
Toya
5 years ago

The whole point of her doing the photos was for the images to stick and be around for people to see.

Emine Dilek
Emine Dilek
5 years ago

During Trans-Atlantic slave trade, over 12.5 million blacks were shipped. 2.5 million died on the way. I don’t know what you are trying to prove.

Joseph Martin
Joseph Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Emine Dilek

I’m just pointing out interesting historical facts. Slavery was horrible and thankfully it was abolished. What Europeans did to Sub-Saharan Africans was ten times worse (literally) than what was done by North Africans to Europeans. But was that because the Europeans were ten times more wicked than Africans? Maybe they were just more organized and effective in their slave trade. You see, I was taught by my schools and the popular culture to believe that White people and White Americans in particular are uniquely cruel and selfish. It is only in recent years that I discovered that this is not the case.… Read more »

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Martin

Perhaps you need to walk a mile or two in a black person’s shoes to understand the insidious nature of the cruelty they and their ancestors have experienced. Stop trying to level the playing field — it really isn’t ever going to be level.

arnibah
arnibah
5 years ago
Reply to  Emine Dilek

Wrong.Over 100 million died on the way!

Kina
Kina
5 years ago

Amazing!

You get to reflect on your ancestors why can we do the same? You were curious about it so you stopped and read. Dont be rude or ridiculous.

Peace and blessings!

s. cupcake
s. cupcake
5 years ago

what. in what world is white on white crime just as high. blacks are 13 percent of the population and commit 50 percent of all crime.

Kiwi-Pete S. Thompson
Kiwi-Pete S. Thompson
5 years ago

She needs to got to the most recent one… Algiers 1908… Where the Muslims sold off the last of the 12 million Europeans descended from Muslim African Barbary pirate’s slaves… Or to Mauritania where Africans continue to buy and sell other Africans…

debra waters
debra waters
5 years ago

American Slavery is the topic, not what Muslims, Hitler, British, Germany, or any other country did. What was done in this country is the issue.

audacityscape
audacityscape
5 years ago

No “liberal”? So you hear conservatives complaining about it?

?Festivus ?Poledancer?
?Festivus ?Poledancer?
5 years ago

You’re attempting to distract from the ongoing legacy and telling people what they should prioritize in their activism, or else their activism isn’t legitimate? Yeah, you’re a fucking dope.

Lisabeth Hanscom
Lisabeth Hanscom
5 years ago

Seriously, what is up with saying “This is worse, so that isn’t a problem at ALL?”

Keiko
Keiko
5 years ago

The point isn’t to call attention to obesity nor female nudity, it’s to call attention to THE SLAVES. THE SLAVES were stripped of their clothing, and their DIGNITY.

Tina
Tina
5 years ago
Reply to  Keiko

I think we should focus more on restoring our dignity as women. This is not the way. We really need to get out of a past, keep our clothes on, and move through life with intellect and grace a lot more.

Otuogbodor,Okeibunor
Otuogbodor,Okeibunor
5 years ago

This very courageous , it’s art to be celebrated. Real Art !

Julia Park Tracey
Julia Park Tracey
5 years ago

Right on, woman. You go! #patriarchy #feminism

BubzLife Starlight
BubzLife Starlight
5 years ago

Don’t drag your stupid white feminism into our black movements. Your feminism ignore WoC. What makes you think we want anything to do with it. No this is WOMANISM!

jill
jill
5 years ago

what the fuck is wrong with you.…

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  jill

She’s overreacting to something that is a real issue for black women: the complete ignorance of the issues we face that are the result of intersection of race, sex, and gender. Mainstream feminism tends to ignore Black women. Sometimes, it even antagonizes and degrades us further.

However, that reaction was a bit harsh.

Varah Potter
Varah Potter
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

Well said.

roo08
roo08
5 years ago
Reply to  jill

The way you worded your comment was unnecessary. I’m glad the person who replied you gave a calm, concise reply.

Khadijah Haseeb
Khadijah Haseeb
5 years ago
Reply to  jill

Your language usage is poor, and unfortunate, but I agree with the sentiment.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly
5 years ago

Just because she is white does not preclude her from appreciating the nature and power of this — or any — art, and her support of it. Isn’t that the purpose of the piece? To reach EVERY ONE. If it was only meant for black eyes, the point of the series would be lost. It’s meant to open EYES — ALL of them — especially white eyes to the black and female black condition and history. The fact that white people are the ones most likely to be unaware of past and present oppression should make her support even more… Read more »

Khadijah Haseeb
Khadijah Haseeb
5 years ago

Your usage of “we” is offensive. You certainly don’t represent me, or my opinions. Take responsibility for your own reactions, hatred and aggression. Check your pronouns. Use “I.”

Khadijah Haseeb
Khadijah Haseeb
5 years ago

I wrote quite a long piece in your defense, and that of white feminists everywhere, but to my horror, it was deleted when I tried to post it.

At any rate, thank you for your support. I was appalled to see you attacked in such a manner. If feminists of ALL creeds and colors do not unite, we will never overcome patriarchy.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

Thank you for posting this scholarly article. I’m definitely using it.

ScratchyOne
ScratchyOne
5 years ago

You don’t understand something, so you go for the most superficial thing your pea brain can get to. African women were stripped of their clothing in order to try and strip them of their dignity and their pride.

Jordan Wilson
Jordan Wilson
5 years ago

Maybe you should take some time and read about third wave feminism and recognize that feminism without intersectionality isn’t true feminism.

Jordan Wilson
Jordan Wilson
5 years ago

Its a form of protest.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

Are you remedial? This piece is not about aesthetics or fitness. Your faux concern is misplaced.

christina.bo
christina.bo
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

Let me guess: You have a body like she does, thus the faux anger at my statement, right?!

ALew
ALew
5 years ago
Reply to  christina.bo

She is making a statement about the history of slave trade. Focus on what she’s trying to communicate and don’t distract from an important message with irrelevant concerns. If you don’t want black women to be thought of as overweight and unhealthy, then work on that, and talk about that…in a place where it’s actually the topic of the discussion.

zeldafitzgerald
zeldafitzgerald
5 years ago

I can move through life with intellect and grace and be naked.

BlueCornMoon
BlueCornMoon
5 years ago

Never forget it but don’t DWELL on it either

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
5 years ago
Reply to  BlueCornMoon

that’s always easy to say for some.

SoCalGal
SoCalGal
5 years ago
Reply to  BlueCornMoon

You mean like no one dwells on the Holocaust? Or 9/11?

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

Since when has subscribing to respectability politics been helpful for Black people? MLK wore suits, and that didn’t stop our government from killing him.

And why should Black people always have to excel past average to matter? I see average, non-overachiever White people doing just fine everyday. What is wrong with Black people wanting the same?

When will we not be required to prove ourselves worthy?

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

What’s wrong with this method? All of the others (writing, painting, sculpting, drawing) are a bit overdone, don’t you think? And for the last time (so many of us keep reiterating this), she’s naked because that’s how female slaves were sold. To insist that she be clothed in any format takes away from the message: slave women had their heritage and dignity stolen, and were given zero credit for their contributions to American society.

Aly
Aly
5 years ago

I find her spirit inspiring and her artwork masterful!

trackback

[…] Shoes” series. The photo is captioned From Her Body Sprang Their Greatest Wealth. This blog post offers commentary and the explanation that Faustine “posed nude at former New York City slave […]

Felina Femenina
Felina Femenina
5 years ago

I didn’t see your original comment. I don’t know what issue you have with the blog owners. I’m not defending them because I barely read this site and don’t know any of them. I sense you have serious issues with black women, and that’s why I addressed you. It’s very telling that you spoke of black women in the third person in your other comment that I replied to. You seem confused about the difference between private and public (government-run). A private blog is a blog that is privately owned and funded. If taxpayers didn’t pay for the establishment of… Read more »

trackback

[…] custody. Support your local Planned Parenthood and Reproductive Justice efforts in your community. Remember the history of race and slavery in our country. Take all seven steps Black Girl Dangerous spells out for you. Show Up for Racial […]

??????? ??????
??????? ??????
5 years ago

What a body!

Follow @offensivedialog
Follow @offensivedialog
4 years ago
Reply to  ??????? ??????

Yes, she is wonderful and bright. She is a Zolotaya Baba with chocolate hue, glad you agree.

Nissi DeNas
Nissi DeNas
5 years ago

thats right, you dumb ass!

Schenita W.
Schenita W.
5 years ago

No she couldn’t because there was no other way… Being jarred by her naked physical appearance in the middle of Manhattan, should lead you to consider the sight of hundreds of naked Africans in those same places. You should consider what that would look like and how socially acceptable it was.

Tyré Mims
Tyré Mims
5 years ago

You really missed the boat on this. If you look back in history slaves were stripped naked to be sold. Her nudity only bought every part history together. Take a closer look at each photo and ask yourself, Why the white shoes? They could’ve been any color. But yet she chose white. Hmmmmm, the nudity represented everything taken, stolen and missed used and the shoes represents what was pure and free and where it was placed. Take a deeper look into history before you try to find something to complain about.

MagnoliaGirl Phillips
MagnoliaGirl Phillips
5 years ago

yes some people can’t handle everything and are not on the same level. some of us still have to mature and grow to see the meaning of things and sadly some will never get there in their lifetime. I think her art piece and the entire concept was great and brave and strong more power to her…

Schenita W.
Schenita W.
5 years ago

This is not about today’s societal standards.. the piece is about slavery. Her weight has nothing to do with it. It may be a negative stereotype but there are overweight black women in the world and there were overweight slaves.

Noriecreates
Noriecreates
5 years ago

Wow! That’s powerful!

Michelle Freeman
Michelle Freeman
5 years ago

Thank you for posting this story.

K.C
K.C
5 years ago

I am tearing up. This is absolutely beautiful and raw. Always and a reminder to look in the past, present, and future, because history repeats itself.

trackback

[…] we think of the South as the hub for selling slaves, New York was fully involved in slave trading,?Faustine […]

Sian Rose
Sian Rose
4 years ago

…Faustine’s photo series was inspired in part by Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman…”

To liken this series of photos to Sarah Baartman’s ordeal is a discredit to the cruelty that Baartman and every other slave has suffered. Where is the artistic or historic value in freely exhibiting the same behaviors that was forced onto your unwilling ancestors?

Jenn
Jenn
4 years ago

Show’s how every little you actually know about history and the truth (regardless of what your Disquis name is) “What’s wrong with this method? All of the others (writing, painting, sculpting, drawing) are a bit overdone, don’t you think? And for the last time (so many of us keep reiterating this), she’s naked because that’s how female slaves were sold. To insist that she be clothed in any format takes away from the message: slave women had their heritage and dignity stolen, and were given zero credit for their contributions to American society.”

aGuide
aGuide
4 years ago
Reply to  Jenn

She did this for attention for herself, we’ve never heard of her before for any of her other work. This does not advance black culture thus no power, money, positive influence is gained for us. She willingly did wat baartman was forced to do, you dont display your body women/men even for art. I will take these actions as a mistake, & it is inevitable that we all will make them. Nona please find other ways/techniques to teach our African history that not only tells the story but also teaches us to advance. Please place a higher value for yourself &… Read more »

CommonVillage
CommonVillage
4 years ago

I thought the same thing at first and I highly object to the overuse of the term “curvy” to mean fat or overweight, HOWEVER this is such a powerful statement she’s making. And I suspect if she was a Victoria Secrets model looking woman, her statement would have been lost as people discussed her body versus her message (but then again, it’s still happening, so maybe that’s irrelevant, too). I do wonder how many slave women would have been as overweight as many modern American women are today. Does this represent the body types back then or just today? At… Read more »

Paris Maye
Paris Maye
4 years ago

I used to feel bad about how I looked naked.

USED to…

marie
marie
4 years ago

I am just not a fan of naked art then my husband says I am not a fan of fart art. What? Did he just say that ok this article has run its course.

Parker Wolf
Parker Wolf
4 years ago

Great piece. I have almost the same body structure & I admire her bravery.

JERMAJESTYHOE
JERMAJESTYHOE
4 years ago

wow any more info about him?

zeldafitzgerald
zeldafitzgerald
4 years ago
Reply to  JERMAJESTYHOE

Quite a lot! Dad has traced him back to North Carolina. We might even be able to find some long lost relatives.

zeldafitzgerald
zeldafitzgerald
4 years ago
Reply to  JERMAJESTYHOE

I’ve been thinking of your question and all day and waited until i could get to a computer. He was freed and he and his family went to Nova Scotia. Apparently he could read or write and there is some question whether or not he was a teacher. From Nova Scotia, he left his family of 8 children behind and presumably a wife, and he went to Mauritius (and that’s the family legend that he was Mauritian. We all assumed the family was trying to hide some First Nation Australian scandal. but they weren’t! this was NEVER a secret. My… Read more »

JERMAJESTYHOE
JERMAJESTYHOE
4 years ago

Wow that is amazing!! thanks for sharing! Where did you find the records of his travels from. I also have ancestors that can be traced back to early 1800 N.C.

zeldafitzgerald
zeldafitzgerald
4 years ago

Well, a lot of was just known. My dad has traced him back because there are actually written records, it’s not hard apparently! We’ve found more of his relations in australia (hilariously we all seem to be “white” with darkish skin — NO ONE has curly hair, damnit) and there should be relations in Nova Scotia as well. We could be related to the Mayor of Detroit as he has the same name albeit spelled slightly differently. Dad just followed the paper trail. I want dad to contact the Mormans as well as well as watch Dr Henry Louis Gates’… Read more »

David M Chambers
David M Chambers
4 years ago

This comment was removed by the commentator before. I guess the truth hurts too much. This woman is still a slave — a slave to perpetuating an antiquated memory that screams at an innocent modern society. The rest of us have moved on, while she is stuck in self pity and recrimination. ‘Black woman’ or just a woman, what is it going to be?

Giselle Fauquet
Giselle Fauquet
3 years ago

Moved on?” are you kidding?

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[…] Pra saber mais ainda (em inglês) […]

SANDRA
SANDRA
4 years ago

This right here is the definition of boldness !!!

trackback

[…] do you think of Faustine’s series – extreme or not? You can read the full story here. Source: […]

Ebony
Ebony
5 years ago

This was pointless and disgusting.

HealthFirst
HealthFirst
5 years ago

I’m unable to see past her weight. She really needs to lose the weight. It’s just too unhealthy to be like that.

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago
Reply to  HealthFirst

Well, back in the slave days (and still in some places) some would say this “heifer” would make a mighty fine wet nurse and/or breeder. Her price would be around the equivalent of buying a new car today.

Getting the point yet?

Peg
Peg
3 years ago
Reply to  HealthFirst

I’m really sorry that you can’t see the beauty and courage in her actions. Your statement is judgmental. And unnecessary.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

i’m sorry but this is so…well, not something i want to look at. i know that people nowadays believe that anything goes. people will say, ‘stop body shaming, fat shaming, woman shaming, black shaming, expression shaming, cellulite shaming, feeling shaming, shame shaming, thug shaming, blah blah blah. does anyone believe in drawing a line at all? i must be the only one who finds these displays annoying, unhelpful, attention-seeking, and a little sad. i mean great, she’s a fat black woman (who takes pride in all three i supposed), who goes around butt naked to pose for pictures and calls it art.… Read more »

Marisol
Marisol
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

So you didn’t get it. That’s probably because she is the stalk opposite of who your ancestors were…Don’t worry, no one is going to shame you for being the beneficiary of her ancestors pain.

Nicole Lasher
Nicole Lasher
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

It’s not as much about being proud as it is being honest. We’ve been told for hundreds of years that we are ugly no matter what we do or how much we weigh. Our bodies have always been a spectacle for “white” people.

Women of all ages and sizes were still stripped down and sold on the block. If you only want to see the “pretty” ones, that’s your sick fantasy, not the reality.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Lol! You’re a complete joke and so transparent. Simply hilarious.

FHC1990
FHC1990
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Thumbs up x10000. I think our culture has become politically correct to a fault.

Peg
Peg
3 years ago
Reply to  omfg

So is your definition of ‘real art’ Alexander Calder?

Natty Patty
Natty Patty
3 years ago
Reply to  omfg

When Kim Kardashian shows her fake big ass it breaks the internet. This out of shape woman does something to bring light to slavery and you call this narcissism?

No this lady is not pleasant to look at but neither was slavery.

Nana Ohenemaa
Nana Ohenemaa
5 years ago

Just out of curiosity. Was she arrested for doing this, or she had a permit?

ama
ama
5 years ago

awesome series. people do forget that the north was built on the land of ndns and the backs of slaves. so I am glad she is bringing this back to the forefront in her way.

Leslie
Leslie
5 years ago

i wrote this long, passionate, angry piece about the pain I feel when I see black women being sold back on the block but instead of chains, designer names, instead of .… Here I go again. My dream is for enough of us to be awakened and strengthened to say “no more”.

Marcia JUdkins
Marcia JUdkins
5 years ago

A stark reminder of the atrocities our ancestors were forced to endure. I applaud her courage and convictions.

lauryn
lauryn
5 years ago

POWERFUL!! Black Women Rock!! <3

cryssi
cryssi
5 years ago

I felt pain seeing these. It felt present. I had questions, but they are irrelevant to the imagery displayed here.

Philly Jawn
Philly Jawn
5 years ago

No

Nia Says
Nia Says
5 years ago

nothing short of amazing. This gave me pause and perspective.

Kita Williams
Kita Williams
5 years ago

Absolutely love the bold statement. Black woman in its rarest form taking back the image that was meant to ridicule and debase. I applaud her

Kiana Davis
Kiana Davis
5 years ago

Amazing… So creative and bold! Unapologetic and moving.

Thank you

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Kiana Davis

It’s one of the most amazingly dignified things I’ve seen a person do. It’s also great how it calls the worms out of the woodwork — people who snicker and laugh do not detract from her, but betray their own shallowness as people, and in so doing make her work even more important.

Targetdog
Targetdog
5 years ago

She walked the walk in those white shoes! How many whites would walk the walk in a pair of black shoes?

booboo
booboo
5 years ago
Reply to  Targetdog

that’s just racist

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Targetdog

How many indeed.

KaseyJones
KaseyJones
5 years ago
Reply to  Targetdog

Depends. Are we talking before or after Labor Day?

baruchzed
baruchzed
5 years ago

Brilliant is so many ways!

Camille
Camille
5 years ago

Amazing and powerful. That so many trolls feel compelled to try and tear her down only makes the statement and impact stronger. I’m not surprised that so many people are threatened by this.

Ciaran Healy
Ciaran Healy
5 years ago
Reply to  Camille

Exactly. This is a beautiful woman doing something beautiful and brilliant.

Nuyoka Co
Nuyoka Co
5 years ago

Could have been better if the photographs were shot right.
All woman are beautiful no matter the size, But come on.

KaseyJones
KaseyJones
5 years ago
Reply to  Nuyoka Co

If you can’t have talent, have shock value.

JL Mosley
JL Mosley
5 years ago

Courageous or Crazy???!!!

I gather it depends on who is beholding…

I am beholding, and I think it is downright Crazy…I don’t care what point she is trying to make!!!

Just like you cannot ever unsee this, you can never delete it when you place it out in cyberspace…

These picture will be around long after she does not exist in the realm of the living…Nevertheless, her grandchildren will be able to view them forever!!!

skepticismishealthy
skepticismishealthy
5 years ago
Reply to  JL Mosley

I daresay they will be proud of her.

Julius Thompson
Julius Thompson
5 years ago

Her art made me sad but hopeful… How could whites have been so cruel and inhuman?

Diana Ross Hurtado
Diana Ross Hurtado
5 years ago

Slavery was also among the blacks. and guess what? it still exists till this day. So it is not a race issue, it is a humanity issue

Pung Yo Ting
Pung Yo Ting
5 years ago

Africans are the ones that sold out their own kind into slavery… each race had its part. I’d say selling out your own people is a little bit of a taint that doesn’t like being admitted. And call me whatever you want(since the insults on here look pretty crappy already) but each race is responsible for slavery across the centuries.

Derek Stewart
Derek Stewart
5 years ago
Reply to  Pung Yo Ting

True dat.

reply guy
reply guy
5 years ago

It’s not made for you to get behind, it’s made to bring you out! Free your mind and your ass will follow!

Tori
Tori
5 years ago

Wow I get the message and I think that this sista was very courageous. I applaud her!! **side note please ignore the trolls along with their self absorbed comments ?

Chico Rich
Chico Rich
5 years ago