“Undefeated” is a piece to show the interconnection between the past, present and future. I created a young Black woman using some features from my younger sister. The woman has locks in her hair styled to look like a family tree with her ancestors dancing surrounded by a circle and with bangs that say “black don’t crack”. The hair symbolizes ancestral love, guidance and roots. Dancing is a way our ancestors connected with our homeland. Her ancestors are within her. Fighting for liberation is an imperative part of our history, the present and our future so I decided to add dandelions to her hair. Dandelions are believed to symbolize freedom, resilience, growth, change, etc. The faint red lines behind her speak on redlining and systemic racism that still affects Black communities today.
A large part of American history is not being taught properly or even taught at all due to white fragility that also affects Black people today. Because of this, I decided to add white crack to the background to address this issue. Lastly, the deep blue was chosen to respect our ancestors who chose the sea. When people see “Undefeated,” I hope they really see Black people, I hope they feel inspired to learn about our history and culture on an unsurfaced level. This piece was created to bring everything full circle from the way we wear our hair, the way we celebrate, the way we are seen; and still we dance, we preserve, we strive for freedoms and still we hope for more for generations to come. We are our history, our history is within us.