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Slaves to Masters Review

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The Brown Ballerina

African-American Ballerinas have broken barriers, gain international acclaim and contributed to ballet. To this day African-American ballerinas are not accepted into the ballet culture. Brown Ballerinas are almost invisible, rarely in the spotlight. But Brown Ballerinas do exist. Dispelling the myths about how African –Americans are not equipped to be ballet dancers.


“They say the ballerina should be the color of a peeled apple but we also know that if the apple stays peeled to long it turns brown, you have to have different shades of apples.” –Joan Myers Brown 

Slaves To Masters

My project, Slaves to Masters is inspired by the iconic and tragic image “Runaway Slave Gordon”. My new body of work references how this horrific history still affects us today, while also celebrating strength, persistence, and power in African American people. While Slaves to Masters references this history, it is a modernized way of showing and celebrating the strength of the African-American people, despite so much weight placed on our shoulders just because of the color of our skin. I am using the back of the African- American as a canvas to tell a story similar to the “Runaway Slave Gordon.” Even though African-Americans today aren’t physically being tied up and whipped, we cannot act as if discrimination against the African-American people does not exist. The only differences are that today we are stronger, in control of ourselves, and we are can be the masters of our fate.

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