As someone who was raised in the heart of the “Bible Belt,” I draw much of my inspiration from today’s limitations, expectations, and notions put on Black folx relating to their imagination/creativity. Being situated in the Deep South meant that my interest in creativity was an act of rebellion, especially with my success as a multi-sport athlete and the pressure to pursue a football scholarship.
While navigating this tripartite identity—of conservatism, rebellion, and understanding my role as a creative Black man from the South—I learned that with a paintbrush in hand, I could travel to a place where I was not restricted by expectations.
For me, the process of painting shatters any barriers produced by a disillusioned identity. I recognize my authentic self, without the fear of being chastised for personal expression. The act of my painting is bigger than me and is about reclaiming the long history of Black creativity, lost due to societal constraints.