America’s Whispered Truths
Archer Gallery – 2019

Exhibit by Renee Billingslea
and Willie Little

If you want a truly unvarnished yet nuanced exhibition, America’s Whispered Truths screams in silent terror, giving scope and sobering scale to the whole discussion of racism in America.

Renee Billingslea

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Willie Little

In America’s Whispered Truths, Willie Little displays pieces from 3 bodies of work: In the Hood, Nodder Doll/Living Doll, and In Mixed Company that address some of America’s social dilemmas on Race & Black Lives Matter.

Froelick Gallery artist Willie Little and Renee Billingslea critique portions of America’s social dilemmas, and confront the murky history of racial tensions in this country. Diverse media and tactics explore the corporeal human tragedies of the past, and subvert icons of degradation, thus reclaiming and representing them as symbols of beauty, strength, and resilience. The works reveal painful truths in our nation’s past, and challenge viewers to examine the current predicament of race in America.

Froelick Gallery

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The picaninny1 was the dominant racial caricature of black children for most of this country’s history. They were “child coons”… Picaninnies had bulging eyes, unkempt hair, red lips, and wide mouths into which they stuffed huge slices of watermelon. They were themselves tasty morsels for alligators. They were routinely shown on postcards, posters, and other ephemera being chased or eaten. Picaninnies were portrayed as nameless, shiftless natural buffoons running from alligators and toward fried chicken.

From the article: The Picaninny Caricature, Jim Crow Museum.

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Video Walking Tour of Exhibit