Image: Red Bone Boy from the Colored People Series
(Portland, Oregon, 1953 - )

Red Bone Boy from the Colored People Series , 1990

Three toned gelatin silver prints and vinyl letters
17 in. x 49 5/8 in. x 1 1/2 in. (43.18 cm x 126.05 cm x 3.81 cm)
Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media
One of the leading contemporary artists working with conceptual photography, Carrie Mae Weems examines prejudice in 'Red Bone Boy'. “Colored” is a term white people have used to label blacks while refusing to recognize them as individuals; “red bone” is an example of terms African-Americans have used to describe other blacks. By “coloring” the photographs of her young subject with brightly hued tones, Weems emphasizes how inadequately “black” describes a multi-colored and diverse race. At the same time, she addresses the situation where light-skinned blacks are often perceived as receiving preferential treatment over those with darker, or more “African,” skin.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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