billie-james installation


"This means, in the case of an American Negro, born in that glittering republic, and the moment you are born, since you don’t know any better, every stick and stone and every face is white.

And since you have not yet seen a mirror, you suppose that you are, too. It comes as a great shock around the age of 5, or 6, or 7, to discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance, along with everybody else, has not pledged allegiance to you. . ."

-James Baldwin

Billie-James, is a photographic series displaying the artist’s experience being an African American. Reece, born and raised in the South of the United States, with a father that was brought up during the Civil Rights Movement has created a linkage from her family upbringing. The reasoning behind the display of family archivals/text/contemporary archivals was to create a parallel between the artist’s father’s life and her own. While one is a black boy growing up in American during the 1950’s vs. a biracial, half Black half Mexican girl in the 1990’s, it permeates that nothing has changed, regarding discrimination and racism. This including “nothing has changed” regarding feeling liberated and proud to be a black individual. The black imagery has become her main focus in her recent work, Reece is wanting to eliminate the sole narrative and negative perception of the black individual. Her family lineage has been displayed by incorporating family portraits, racial conflicts, and acknowledging the beauty of her BLACKNESS to give different spectrums of the black image.