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In “Sambo Princess,” Detroit artist challenges African-American stereotypes in anime and other media

Apr 23, 2018

 


 

Detroit artist Paul Johnson has produced a lot of work that explores the female form — a curvy, tiny-waisted, large-and-drooping-eyed figure. 

His newest exhibition takes that female figure in the direction of anime as he zeroes in on the way African Americans are often depicted in anime and other media. 

 

The exhibition is called Sambo Princess, and it's running now through May 6 at Grey Area in Detroit. 

 

Johnson joined Stateside to discuss the collection. Listen above to hear where his inspiration for this figure comes from, how the history of African American minstrel depictions fit into his work, and what he hopes visitors will take away.

 

Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

 

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