Designing while black: Exploring the evolution of black Prairie design aesthetic

DM

Why is it so hard to see black braininess? Or the black designing mind? Tosin Odugbemi is a Harvard-educated visual designer from Edmonton whose understanding of Green Walter’s stereotyped role is pointed. “Black people have been put into a box. We have been viewed as aggressive and simple for years,” Tosin said. “Our value has been reduced to existing only to make white people’s lives more enjoyable.” This much is clear in history. Again, speaking of Green Walters’s comic impact, J. L. Douglas points out “the more we laughed the funnier he became.” What’s funny is that he never wonders at the simplicity of Walters’s response, or what it must have been like to be black, both surrounded and exposed by an othering gaze out on the open prairie of whiteness.

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