A collection of one hundred drawings of missing Black women by Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle at the California African American Museum sheds light on the thousands who disappear every year in the United States.
The exhibit consists of Hinkle’s notebook-size contour drawings of Black women in black ink that represent thousands of Black women who have disappeared due to colonialism, human trafficking, homicides, and other forms of erasure. The drawings are especially relevant to recent statistics circulating via social media. According to the Black and Missing Foundation, 36.7% of missing children (17 and under) in America are Black while Black adults (18 and over) make up 26.4 percent.
Hinkle uses handmade brushes to imagine the women’s distinct personalities and uses aggressive mark-making to indicate an environment of violence and pain. Whether through criminal activity or for other motives, the names and faces of missing Black women end up being overshadowed by the urgency of protecting our country’s privileged. The women in Hinkle’s drawing also figuratively “disappear” in the same fashion and serve to showcase the glaring fate of far too many missing Black women in our communities. According to Toni Morrison, crucial times like these are “precisely the time when artists go to work.”
The exhibit, curated by Naima J. Keith and titled The Evanesced, is on display at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, CA until June 25, 2017. Learn more about the artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle and view more of her artwork here.