“Racism is so embedded in our history, structure, values, etc. that much of American consciousness operates from racial assumptions that seem natural and therefore resist critical inquiry. But race informs and often distorts African American self-perception and identity formation.” - Karla Holloway
The First Supper is a performance piece addressing the racial stereotyping of food commonly eaten by African-Americans. The title references the famous Da Vinci painting, The Last Supper.
This performace piece alludes the affects of racism on the black psyche; often leading to the rejection of one's own culture. For the majority of my youth, I rejected eating certain foods that were considered "black." Upon years of growth, education, and research, I have come to appreciate the history surrounding this food; commonly referred to as "soul" food. This performance seeks to claim an affinity for the food, while highlighting the long lasting effects of these stereotypes (which can be witnessed in the uncomfortable and unsure way in which the food is eaten).
The live performance lasted for fifteen minutes. These are some photographs and stills of the performance.
The food itself, is comprised of a few typical "soul" food items, including fried chicken, green beans and gravy, mashed potatoes, biscuits, corn, and kool-aid.