A collage of an African-American women torn paper mask on left side

This work draws upon some metaphorical parallels with the oleander plant. The plant is known for its beauty, but it’s also toxic if ingested, which can symbolize the dualities faced by African American women – their strength, resilience, beauty, and the challenges and obstacles they’ve encountered throughout history. This shows images depicting the colonization of Africa to the accomplishments of African-American women.

When faced with adversity, I equate this toxin as a potent driving force to overcome various struggles, including racial and gender discrimination, to triumph in various fields, such as civil rights, literature, science, and arts.

Overall, the oleander plant and African American women showcase the power of resilience, determination, and the ability to flourish despite hardships.

This work has been invited to appear at the Center for Contemporary Arts National Competition 2023 in Abilene, Texas