Jim Crow Fantasies

The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies


I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for Okeeba Jubalo‘s art exhibit, The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies. If you’ve never heard of him (I hadn’t), I encourage you to peep his bio. He’s very interesting with a substantial career, humble with a quiet confidence whose weighty works speak volumes.


This piece (above) was the sunny spot of the exhibit. Or was it? I took it as being your own leader with your own thoughts- not outsourcing for acceptance, love or guidance. A god within, if you will. A unique, self-fueled standard of intelligence and beauty. It sounds kinda easy, but how many people can you tick off that refuse to face themselves(G-check) or dismiss constructive criticism? How many do you know that are stubborn and completely unwilling to consider differing ideas and opinions? Can you look in the mirror and only speak positively-not just “good” things about yourself, but the uncomfortable adjustments required to be better?


Okeeba Jubalo has taken it upon himself to create a visual voice for those made invisible in America’s social, economic and political infrastructure.(source)


His show was part of Transcendence, a Black History Month celebration of art, culture, togetherness and-the obvious-history.

When I walked into the gallery, I thought this hints of Basquiat-violent, graphic and almost primitive. Okeeba paints us as the caricatures found on brand-name products and their ads a few decades back. It may not be so blatant or as popular anymore, but it’s still being practiced today. Jim Crow Fantasies is an uncomfortable reminder that we’re still viewed as caricatures. Children in adult bodies. Fools. Even with the wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, we haven’t grown much from the era of Jim Crow, blackface, begging for “equality” and tap-dancing for white jesus.

I could really go into some of these pieces, but I’d like to leave it up to you, the viewers, to share your own interpretations. My little camera phone doesn’t do it justice, but I promise I tried.

As always, thanks for tuning in. And Okeeba, thank you for your necessary contributions to the art world.


38 thoughts on “Jim Crow Fantasies

  1. Very intelligent thought about looking deep within ourselves Ms. Suede. I loved the “tap dancing” part. I love all of it. But (petty alert) what u mean your camera phone didn’t do justice? The photos were amazing. Hahahahaahahaha. I love this exhibit just based off your thoughts and photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Tareau. That means s lot. Photography is on my list of creative outlets, so capturing this was show was like double the fun for me.

      Thanks so much for tuning in and the kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, we are still a joke, but it is certainly not funny to us! We didn’t ask to be over here and so who is that on? I get sick and dang tired of being held accountable for something we ALL know who put into play.

    Great pictures of the artwork btw, “your little camera phone” and all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You already know, Shelby! There are some deep, ugly layers that resulted our current demise. And unfortunately, I know you know there are still some shuffling for applause from outsiders instead of trying to educate themselves or unite.

      Thanks so much for always sharing the truth + a kind word.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous post, Kelley!
    I’d like to see Okeeba’s work up close and personal.
    You did a solid job with your camera phone. Thank you.
    I liked it all so much, that it’s hard to pick a fave. It truly is a revolution in art, and Okeeba makes art, not wallpaper.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have waaay too much to say, so I’ll just say this…the pictures were amazing! I was going to ask what camera that was. They’re super clear! Love the White Jesus comment…not sure that’ll ever end. My favorite two pieces were the “Leader” one that you took a selfie in and the chair and typewriter with James Baldwin and August Wilson, etc. Great post, really.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Me??? Hold back??? lol I wish I could remember what all I had to say girl. A lot of times I have paragraphs upon paragraphs, but you’re right. I should know my “blogging tribe” can handle it 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this a lot! I, too, was thinking of Basquiat while I was viewing these. The writer in me would love to have that BLACKBLACKBLACKBLACKBLACK piece with all the writers name scrolled all over the seat and typewriter. All of the pieces are definitely thought-provoking which you pointed out well with your interpretation. So many layers to the pieces. I would love to see this in person. I hope he comes in my neck of the woods soon so I can see his work in person.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed this completely. Thoroughly. Thank you so much for this. The “Moan Lisa” is my favorite. Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa” plays in my head…and the lyrics apply to this piece somehow…
    Again, I loved this. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I could only dream of a day where I could tag along with you at one of these exhibits. I love hearing people discuss artwork and I know you would have a ton to say lol. Do you usually go solo?

    Liked by 1 person

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