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"Boys On The Block"



acrylic on canvas


Nationwide many young black men wake and don't see a reflection in the mirror. One that tells them they matter, they're valued, they're important, they are loved. This has them on a daily chase seeking ways to escape this absence. Searching for relevance within the day. Oftentimes killing a reflection they don't see. It's akin to lynching themselves.


This is illustrated by the looping arm that stretches above the head and hanging his "self". With the "vein" running from the gun to his hand.

The main image stands on a "block", the kind children are given by a loved one. Beneath him are crosshairs. This depicts his existence while searching for dominion of his space, his self-prescribed power; while being under the watchful eye of america.

The target is of the same color as the dying rose laying at the bottom of the painting. It is red. There is dual symbolism in this. The death the rose caused another is a death within himself and red is the complementary color to green (the color of the other rose). If young black men understood that they complement each other then maybe the deaths wouldn't occur. 

As a play on words, I posit that if young black men "complimented" each other as well, as opposed to degrading each other; maybe a reflection in the mirror would be born?

Boys On The Block

Death reigns from the non-existent

...a ghost, no figure, kills.

the streets wear the pigment of nothingness/


boys hang on the block/blind/

syncopated with bullet casings

footsteps tap dancing through life

as their tears carom off the concrete


circumstances circumcise and circumvent

their breathing/they are hanging

and they hold the rope.

No white sheets hiding white men

But they’re prevalent in the

‘hood along with broken mirrors

With reflections screaming to be free.


Why can’t they see?


Puerile power struggles placate

Constipated manhood

Systems in place to truncate livelihood/

Elevate falsehoods

And black men have forgotten they are Kings/

History dictates hate.

Minds poisoned with the same water

That flows through the roots of the

Poplar trees forced to partake in ill deeds.


Who are we? If nothing more than

An audience listening to the echos of gunfire

Stab nights silence?

We are privy to sit back eating popcorn

With the hulls slicing our throats,

pain predicating the death of our


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