RECLAMATION OF THE PENCIL
Primarily using graphite powder, graphite pencil, and black hair imagery, “Reclamation Of The Pencil” is my personal response to learning about Pencil Tests occurring in South Africa during the Apartheid era. In order to segregate the population, the South African government would administer a test that involves sticking a pencil in one’s hair. If it easily falls out, the person is considered white and passing. However, if the pencil remains, he or she is considered black/colored, thus failing. As an Artist who primarily draws, the pencil is the tool I use the most to express myself freely and yet there was a time when this tool was used to oppress individuals with hair like mine. Conceptually I am taking back the power of the pencil and challenging those who have and those who continue to control ethnicity.