BLESSED BE THE BLACK AND CRAZY
"I have often searched for this text.
Asked the creator above to provide some solution to this madness,
Some antidote for the chaos that it creates.
Something to reign in this beast that runs wild in me.
But lo i found the answer I sought already existed in the lined palms of our people.
I now know this holy text exists;
We are writing it."
-Opening Verse of "The Survival Gospel: Holy Text For the Black And Crazy"
"Blessed Be The Black And Crazy" is an interactive installation exploring the intersection of blackness and the sacred chaos that can be mental illness. Through interpretations of religious iconography, written text and recorded audio, the piece posits that even when labeled insane, we are still holy.
The saints portrayed in the photos take their inspiration from Catholic saints who are referenced as “relations” of these new saints. The imagery and names of “Blessed Be The Black and Crazy Saints” are re-imagining of the saints to depict experiences of mental illness that have connection to their patronage. Currently, the project will engage other neuro-atypical black people to share their experiences with mental illness and create more re-imaginings of saints based on their stories.
Current Saints Include:
-Revelle Patron Saint of the Inundated (Inspired by Cajetan Patron Saint of the Unemployed and Gamblers)
-Kristina, Patron Saint of the Medicated ( inspired by Christina the Astonishing, Patron Saint of Millers and Psychiatrists)
-Isabel Patron Saint of the Adorned (inspired by Rose of Lima Patron Saint Against Vanity)
Blessed Be The Black and Crazy has been exhibited at
"Resiliency! That's How We Be: A Celebration of Mental Wellbeing" presented by The Black Women's Health & Livelihood Initiative of the UCSF National Center for Excellence in Women's Health in partnership with Hunters View YMCA
"COMMUNION: Black Feminism + Study + Spirituality" presented by The Church of Black Feminist Thought at the Ashara Ekundayo Gallery
"The Black Woman is God: Assembly of Gods" at SOMArts Cultural Center
Kristina, Patron Saint of the Medicated (inspired by Christina the Astonishing, Patron Saint of Millers and Psychiatrists) Photo Credit: Sabaa Zareena