“We are powerful because we have survived, and that is what it is all about – survival and growth” – Audre Lorde
BLSA Osgoode’s Resistance Gallery is a virtual collection that answers one central question:
What is Black Resistance?
Our aim for Black History Month is to depict and celebrate the many forms that Black Resistance emerges in, ranging from outspoken activism and pushing boundaries, to acts of self-care and jubilation. This gallery features submissions from an array of gifted Black artists, each with their own conceptions of Black Resistance and their own mediums of choice.
Welcome to our resistance.
Red Veil – Christianah Adeyemi Red Veil embodies what it means to be Black living in the present age. There are many limitations Blacks face in the society and behaviours that we have to conform with just because we are perceived differently. This experience of having to be less of yourself is similar to a veil covering our faces and stopping us from being who we really are. However, our power as Blacks lies in the fact that despite these limitations, we rise and put up a defiant look. One that refuses to be subjected to less, one that shows strength in the face of oppression. Like the Black girl under the veil, you can feel the strength through her reassuring gaze, empowering the Black Resistance as a path to true freedom.
I live for the times that I can’t remember with the people that I won’t forget – Elicser Elliott The images I am submitting are from the series “Prosopagnosia”. Face blindness. Some of the problems that I was tackling within these works are still happening in the communities of colour today.
I Can’t Breathe – Elicser Elliott The images I am submitting are from the series “Prosopagnosia”. Face blindness. Some of the problems that I was tackling within these works are still happening in the communities of colour today.
Assume the position – Elicser Elliott The images I am submitting are from the series “Prosopagnosia”. Face blindness. Some of the problems that I was tackling within these works are still happening in the communities of colour today.
Unapologetically Black – Monique Symister This poem was written during the time of the protests in May, shortly after George Floyd was killed. I watched the news daily with great sadness of what has happened in America over the years and what has continued to happen….the blatant DISRESPECT of black people. Some people saw rioters and/or looters. I saw people that were sick and tired of being sick and tired. This poem is saying enough is enough! We are beautiful people that will continue to strive no matter the adversity.
Heavy is the head that wears the Crown – Bernice Afriyie: Black Resistance is a refusal to shrink and change oneself in the face of adversity. Black resistance is the courage to be daring, bold and beautiful in a society that tells one to be otherwise. It is the sacred communion that takes place when Black people meet, laugh or cry. Black resistance is the intentional occupation of space, the conversation with traditions and ancestors through art, the refusal to be forgotten and the radical belief that Black is beautiful and worth protecting. This piece attempts to characterize all of the above. I was inspired by the captivating work of Annie Lee, specifically her painting “Blue Monday.” Heavy is the woman’s head in this painting. As a Black woman, she carries unimaginable burdens, traumas and responsibilities on her shoulders—but beautiful is her crown as well. She is adorned. Her kinks and coils are her precious jewels set in a plate of flowers. She refuses to be crushed by the immensity of her crown. Instead, she grows larger than her surroundings, creating beauty in her image. Everything in the world conspires to convince her that she does not descend from kings and queens, so she reminds the world daily of her royalty. With this weight on her shoulders, each day she rises, and she wears her crown well.
Draped Karupatti – Buni Samuels
Lady Campbell – Josh Hy Naomi is the icon of the fashion world, a role model of the modern world. She faced many challenges being a black woman in a predominantly white industry, yet they could not withhold her elegance and beauty that stemmed from being Black. She stood up and fought for her value.
Still a Strong Black Woman – Jhanelle Peters & Lese Awodiya (The Visual Therapist) Black women have been gifted generational armour in the form of strength, resilience and perseverance. Although this trait has helped many Black women endure the unthinkable, it has also prevented black women from allowing themselves to be okay with feeling vulnerable. Reflection: Everyone needs time to feel, and this includes the many emotions that others label as “weak” or “no big deal.” Strength is more than the ability to withstand pressure, pain and damage. It includes one’s ability to let their guard down, be vulnerable and feel the many emotions that make us human. Remember, you are still a strong Black woman even when you take off your armour to rest, feel and recharge.
Black Token – Joseph Cain For me, this piece can represent Black resistance through focusing on only the Black characters from all of my favourite 90’s cartoons that had predominantly white characters. With this piece, it reminds everyone of some of the greatest cartoons of that era not only through the main characters, but through the characters that a lot of Black people can identify with. This piece reminds me that even though they were surrounded by other cultures, [the Black characters] remained true to themselves.
Untitled – Monique Edwards This painting is my artist rendition of the iconic photograph of Huey P. Newton sitting in a peacock chair. Huey P. Newton was a Black political and civil rights activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party. The Party’s mandate was to achieve liberation for the African-American community. This is the epitome of Black resistance.