To shelter-in-place is to seek safety amidst imminent danger. This idea resonates with the experiences of African American women and girls: because we navigate marginalized and mainstream spaces, facing inherent danger (whether real or imagined). Through a system of adapted visual and verbal cues, we forge our own codified language, defining cultural nuances that create safe spaces, foster inclusion, and offer refuge. These expressions enable us to adapt, pivot, and thrive. Through Pikin., my body of work on black girlhood, I explore the question: When does blackness become a threat and how do we teach our girls to survive?
ERIN KENDRICK | VISUAL ARTIST | ARTS EDUCATOR