Art Radar: Chicago Street Artist Hebru Brantley

Hebru Brantley by Kristie Kahns Photography.jpg

Photo Courtesy Kristie Kahns Photography

A couple Ebony issues ago I came across this Chicago bred artist and thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite pieces of his. What I love about Hebru Brantley’s craft is the influence he takes from comic books, Japanese anime, and street culture and paints a picture that tells a thousands words.

“Brantley draws influence from an array of pop culture icons, comic book heroes, Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and Keith Haring. Brantley’s recent focus is to share energetic narratives— moments of reality from his life and the lives of his peers, mixed with fantastical fiction— to create a fragmented environment of make believe. Spray paint is often at the forefront of these mixed-media illustrations, working in part to de-contextualize the levity of cartoon imagery, and bring a critical edge into the white cube. From this, Brantley has developed his own unique style and identifies as an Afro-Futurist.”

I hope to see his work next time he exhibits in San Francisco!

For more of his work check out

Miss Hampton University Pulls the Race Card

many have asked for days now how I felt about Miss Hampton Univesity of 2009-2010, and your answers is this.


yes, she’s white and she represents Hampton University….

I was amongst the very few people that attended the Miss Hampton Univeristy pagaent on friday, October 9th, 2009 and when they announced the winner to be Nikole Churchill, I didn’t scream. I didn’t cuss. Nor did I storm out, but stood there in complete shock  but not disbelief.  I knew in the back of my mind when seeing the contestants earlier in the week that this pagaent was going to make history, one way or the other.

While many are blaming her, I am blaming the judges and whoever is under this committee into picking Miss Hampton.  Honestly, I feel that her presence in pagaentry was not in comparison to the other contestant that graces the stage with her.  Yes, she is a student of Hampton University on the Virginia Beach Campus, but I have not seen her at all on this campus.  No campus involvement, no community service, no organizations on this campus. I mean, she’s a senior like me, she could’ve at least attended a few senior socials or something.  But the fact of the matter is, she is NOT the representation of Hampton University. Regardless if the title has nothing to do with representing just the next step to Miss Virginia, it is not fair to the other contestants that have been involved for numerous years with their school and have already engrossed themselves in its rich culture.

Now for the race part. You can’t hide it, no one can.  And let’s not compare this to Obama, because Obama is black and he is in the opressed race, which is like myself.  Nikole will never know how it feels to be black and writing a letter to President Obama about racial issue that she recieved from a black institution shows no relation. Yeah, I feel sorry for her. But what did she expect? Get over it. As a black woman I will always be overlooked when I’m going against a white women cause everyone plays the race card, and not to mention that I have nappy hair tops it off, HU will not approve LoL but anyways, HBCU’s are the only institutions that are privately funded and designed for African-Americans to seek an opportunity to feel comfortable in their own skin and to get an education that we deserve, equal and fair.  By a white woman, taking the crown is pretty much a slap in our faces.  I am not suprised that she won because leave it Hampton University to always want to “diversify’ and uphold an image that steers faaaaaaaar away from black. If you can’t go bright, then go WHITE. (comic relief: laugh, thanks.)

Black people can’t ever just have what was ours, our music, our culture, and now even our schools.  Were still oppressed and Hampton University’s new “Diversity Political Move” doesn’t help either.