Poetry, Paintings and Protest

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

The title says it all. As others take to social media and the streets to effect social change, Tarver uses art--both visual and written--as the medium to convey his opinion about the reality of being an African American in the United States.
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This powerful collection of artwork ranging from photographs to paintings to poems by this talented Black man evoke passionate protest against the dire reality faced by African Americans!
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Ivan Azaan Target was brought to write this book through his battle with depression, and that is clear through the emotion in his poetry. He writes in a way that is both raw and eloquent, of race and gender in the modern day. Themes such as masculinity, sexual relationships, romantic relationships, politics and police brutality are explored in this collection, punctuated by artwork that reflects these themes in relation to the author and his wife, the book's editor Markesha Tarver. In many ways Poetry, Paintings and Protest is a love story, and shows the importance of mutual respect in relationships: although Tarver explores bigger issues such as our inherently racist society and African pride (which he does in a beautiful rap-like poetic style) he always comes back to his here and now: the love he has, and the joy it brings him. In terns of the artwork, Target shows promising multimedia and painting skills that I would be keen to see in a gallery.
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In a time when there's so much battle for change, Tarver lends his own creations and voice to speak his piece and also to help inspire others.  The artwork in this book is raw and vulnerable, and yet reminds readers to not stop embracing what inspires you, and I definitely also enjoyed the poems he wrote.
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