Brooklyn White Blows Up the Jezebel, Sapphire & Mammy Stereotypes
Twenty-two-year-old Brooklyn White is a visual artist with a major message.
Her artwork recently has focused on blackness, womanhood, and classic stereotypes of black women. She was featured under the Art Hoe Collective’s slot for Dazed’s list of the Next Generation of Female artists and her artwork has been featured on Rookie.
Even Erykah Badu showed her work some love.
Galore sat down with her to find out more about her art, her message, and what’s next on the agenda.
How did you get started creating art?
When I was 8 or 9, I met a lady named Tamysha. She went to my church and yooo she was a bomb artist. I had never met anyone like her before. She was good at makeup and hair, her sense of style was on point, and she was a dancer. I wanted to be like her, so I started drawing.
What messages do you hope for your artwork to convey?
Freedom. Confidence. Reality. I hope that people look at my work and gain the confidence to break free of anything that holds them back in life. I want people to be like “wowww that girl is soaring, what’s stopping me from doing the same?” And reality is something I’m big on right now. So many times we idealize ourselves, our situations, and other people. I’m trying to be more grounded in my artwork. Gotta give people that real, ya know?
What is your favorite piece that you’ve created so far?
Ah, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. There’s too many ma, I cain’t choose!
Who inspires you and your work the most?
My homie Sean! Sean is a beautiful, militantly black soul who put me on to black art. They’ve inspired some of my recent political pieces. Follow them on Instagram for golden content (@walkingregular).
How do you explore blackness, womanhood, and classic stereotypes of black women in your work?
I like to conduct research on things that interest me. I come into crucial pieces of information (like the primary stereotypes of black women [Jezebel, Mammy, Strongblackwoman, Sapphire], women’s divine qualities, etc.) and throw them into my artwork. I highlight the black struggle throughout history and try to get to the crux of black womanhood as I understand it. It’s a cool way to start conversations about stuff that NEEDS to be discussed.
What is your mantra moving forward in the art world?
Let’s get this love flowin and this gwap growin.
What are major aspects of your self care?
I’m honestly still learning how to govern myself. The major points right now though are regular water intake, poppin baths, and meditation.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
Lord willin, in a year I will be glossed up. My career will be poppin severely and I won’t be focused on the dumb stuff I think about on the daily.
What’s next for you to tackle?
Next up is taking complete control of my destiny. I think sometimes we feel real hopeless and helpless. It feels like life is happening to us, like we’re background characters. I’ve been that way before, but now I’m realizing my own power. Ultimately, God is in control, but He gives us so much power and glory. So next up is stepping into that glory and running with it forever.