Kama Mama, Kama Binti (Like mother like daughter)

Hank Willis Thomas American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 851

For his series Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2008, Thomas rephotographed magazine advertisements (removing any captions or text that appear in the original) showing persons of color over the forty years from the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the election of President Barack Obama. Thomas has described this series as "track[ing] blackness in the corporate eye," namely how images of blackness in the mass media are produced by white corporations not only to sell products, but also as a form of social control after the countercultural and civil rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s (with all that the term "branding" implies). In "The Oft Forgot Flower Children of Harlem," Thomas reveals the dominant culture's central aim to relegate black political power to the already commodified phenomenon of the "hippie," a social movement that was in and of itself a marketing strategy to steer youth away from political engagement and toward individual self-fulfillment.

Kama Mama, Kama Binti (Like mother like daughter), Hank Willis Thomas (American, born 1977), Chromogenic print

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