The Artist's Hand

Portraiture's Potential to Transform Black Identity and History

  • Grace Peter


This paper explores the power of portraits and their ability to redefine race and identity in time. In times of exploitation and disregard, black culture has been defined by the lends and hands of others. However, the emergence of black artists is now bringing light to a more personal perspective of their identity and culture. Artists such as Gayl Jones in her book Corregidora, Oneika Russell's new Olympia 7, and John B. Martin's Portrait of James Armistead Lafayette create and redefine a people who tried to be erased. Through these self-portraits, the importance of art and its creator are brought to life. 

Author Biography

Grace Peter

Grace Peter is from Connecticut and is in the BC class of 2020. She majors in Biology (B.A.) and has a minor in English. She is currently studying abroad in Seville, Spain and loves learning more of the language and food cul- ture. At BC, she gets dinners with Je;, her buddy from BestBuddies and goes on the builds organized by Habitat for Humanity. She is also an avid gardener and is apart of the Garden Club at BC. In her free time, she loves to write and has enjoyed her discussion-based English courses and is excited to read and write more.

How to Cite
Peter, G. (2021). The Artist’s Hand. Elements, 15(1), 33-37.