bloman 1205

ethiop 1382

blueman 1387

moor 1390

blackamoorian 1526

blackamoor 1547

nigro 1548

ethopian 1552

negro 1555

niger 1574

neger 1587

black man 1591

from the oxford english dictionary thesaurus, i was lucky enough to read at a friends house, the many manifestations of the noun black, the black person, the idea sparked by the bloman, the depth.. it reminded me of the syretta wright/stevie wonder track from 1972 black maybe and common/bilals re-vision of the track from 2005; u, black maybe, i extracted the lyrics of pertinence from both and began to compose images in my head.

Black maybe or maybe
This is just your colour for today

Maybe you’re red, or
Maybe you’re green
But your real colour
I’ve never seen

from syretta wright/stevie wonder’s black maybe 

Brothers is starving with there mouth wide open
Floating across state got the workout plans so they can move weight
The fate of the black man, woman, and child maybe

When we talk about black maybe
We talk about situations
Of people of color and because you are that color
You endure obstacles and opposition
And not all the time from…from other nationalities
Sometimes it come from your own kind
Or maybe even your own mind
You get get laughed get looked at wrong
You get sighted for not being strong
The struggle of just being you
The struggle of just being maybe

black maybe..

from common and bilal’s, u, black maybe

all this led to a painting

black,maybe,blue – 2018

it didn’t stop there.

colours and combinations of colour



another painting

black,maybe,red – 2018

then the purpose of the paintings become clearer, mundane other worldly, so on one hand these paintings are rooted in an identity politic of what or who is black (the word and the identity) but because the paintings take the colour of out of the equation, in that they expound on the possibilities of blackness (holding all light and colour) and do not simply sit in this world but relate to the world before colour categorisation as a means of subjugation, but a red being fire a blue being water a green being grass. my will is that these paintings speak to a universal understanding of colour their overt and underlying meanings, that they convey the depth of people of african descent and of all people, in amplifying what we don’t see viscerally but that which is beneath and beyond the surface. the ewa inu – yoruba phrase that speaks of the intrinsic worth of things. so that may be on par and subsequently above the ewa ode – the outer worth/beauty of things.


Nadeem Din-Gabisi