This original painting of a little black boy with "Black Boy Love" on his shirt is the latest in an installment of Valentine's Day paintings. Black Boy Love is a play on the Black Boy Joy movement, acknowledging the struggle to build esteem and claiming space for Black boys to feel happy and proud of who they are. Black boys deserve to love and be loved openly and freely without the fear of being ridiculed. The design in the text is Sand Trails by DaViva, inspired by west African tribal patterns.
Black boys can be feared and falsely accused because they choose to wear a hoodie like 17 year old Trayvon Martin, play with a toy gun like 12 year old Tami Rice or jog through a neighborhood like 25 year old Ahmaud Arbery that means their very existence their place in this world, is always on trial. Walking through life 24/7 with the burden of proving that you’re a good person. Constantly on alert about how they are being perceived and striving to make others comfortable. Assumed guilty until proven innocent. That is the oppression that Black people, particularly Black boys, have to live with every day.
This 2'x 4' plywood painting is an original painting with a limited print run of 20 signed prints. The perfect Valentine's Day gift!
Fabric design: DaViva
Photography/Videography: Oliver James