I am a Louisville, KY native, visual artist and writer. I am currently writing a non-fiction essay, prose-poetry book entitled SIR. The book is based upon the conceptual premise of a name that undefines the defined. I meditate on the black body and contextualizing geographies in relationship to my brother, an African-American man named Sir. (His full name is Sir Antany Marquis Lavonne Hinkle. .) Our mother named him Sir so that everybody would have to address him with a title of respect regardless of the power relations he encountered as a black man living in a racially turbulent Kentucky. It is my theory that because of my mother’s experiences being raised in a geography full of racial prejudice it influenced her choice in naming him Sir and Marquis.
The book project weaves in and out of family histories, interviews, reflections on naming, the desegregation of public schools in 1970s, housing and historic land usage, and the racial barriers (psychological & geographical) within Louisville, KY. Within this project it is my goal to question and conjure up deep-rooted injustices concerning issues of belonging, selfhood and entitlement. I feel that these issues are both inaugurated and foreclosed through someone or something’s name.
This site is meant to be used as a vehicle for discussion, research and a space to contemplate issues surrounding historical and contemporary race relations as it pertains to the black body. The site will also act as an archive that will chronicle the good, the bad and the ugly journey of writing a work of this nature.
Although Louisville, KY is a specific geography that I use as a catalyst to unearth the complexity of race relations and selfhood it is my intention to use it as a gateway to discuss issues that effect cities, ethnicities, and families nationwide.
Thank you in advance for your support!
-Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle