BLU    BLAK: portraits, or Blue Holes | scraps from the archives
Human bodies are geographies and landscapes of past lives, histories, and truths. I believe the lines in the face, like maps reveal the pathways to land forgotten. BLU BLAK explores the notion of the body as a blue hole which hides and houses black memories. I first learned of physical blue holes through my uncle who told tall tales of bottomless water sources in East Arkansas that swallowed coca cola trucks and little children whole. I imagine blue holes as interconnected water portals that our ancestors escaped within during the transatlantic middle passage to find their kinfolk in the shadowy land of chattel slavery. Blue Holes are the spaces Zora Neal Hurston traveled in her anthropological studies of the Caribbean balmyards. Blue Holes are where my great grandmother, a healer and midwife, stored her medicinal blue baths.  Blue Holes are where stories of how folks survived the 1919 Elaine massacre by hiding in the canebrakes. Blue Holes are access points to examine the political reshaping of Black identity. Blue Holes are where the myths created to invisibilize black folx who may be missing, brutalized, and/or criminalized are disrupted and analyzed. Blue Holes are Hollerin Spaces. Each portrait are archives from the blue hole.
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© 2018 Angela Davis Johnson. All Rights Reserved.