Oct 17, 2012

Your Skin has the Power to Protect You

Unbranded: Reflections in Black Corporate America

Your Skin has the Power to Protect You


Hank Willis Thomas

(American, 1976-)

Digital chromogenic print

Paper: 166.4 x 130.8 cm (65 1/2 x 51 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2012.63

Impression: 2


Did you know?

The Unbranded series encourages us to consider how advertising reinforces generalizations surrounding race, gender, and cultural identity.


Hank Willis Thomas chose 2 ads per year published in Ebony, a magazine aimed at African Americans, between 1968—the year Martin Luther King was assassinated—and 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected president. He subtracted all the branding information from the images and added titles, often satirical, to each image. The result is a four-decade survey of how advertisers thought African Americans wanted to see themselves.

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