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“The Hue Man Chess Game “ is a colorful blend of art and reality. At close observation you will see a chess game being played between a light skinned couple and a dark skinned couple. You will notice that they are playing with real people. The original concept was to make this a painting of a black couple playing a white couple; the black pieces black people and the white pieces white people. Upon further thought, however, I felt it would be of greater value to magnify the issues that we (people of color) have amongst ourselves, i.e., light skinned against dark skinned, good hair—bad hair, east coast—west coast, Dominicans—Puerto Ricans, the islands—the states and even American born blacks against blacks from the Motherland. So, we are essentially playing each other on the small chessboard.
At closer observation, you will notice that while the dark skinned and light skinned couples are playing each other on the small chessboard, they themselves are being played on a much bigger chessboard that they are sitting on. Are you following the concept?...
To the right of the small chess game you will see an hourglass which means our time is running out while we are sleeping (mentally). Notice the two brothers sleeping near the hourglass.
To the far left you will see a figure taking a dead body down the stairs. This is to show that we are losing people. People are dying but because we are so busy playing each other we do not even notice what is going on around us. Let’s make moves to embrace and educate each other.
In the upper right corner of the painting you will see a hallway where the chess game appears to go on forever. In the middle of the back wall you will notice a doorway where a couple is outside with the grass and pyramid, representing a higher level of consciousness, walking away from the game. What is being said here is that the decision is ours which path we choose to take. We could keep playing the game forever, or we can step off the game into our own world through the (mental) doorway. We do have a choice.
At the top of the stairs there are two ancestors looking down to see how we are going to represent ourselves and at the same time patiently waiting for us to reclaim knowledge of self and do great things as a people. The pyramids were built not only with a high degree of knowledge but also with unity and a strong sense of community.
To the chess players out there, you will notice that there is an actual strategy to the small pieces (people) on the small board. An actual game is taking place. Take a look...
The bottom line is that if we, people of color, would only unite, we would be in a position to reclaim our glorious past and rightful place throughout the world and in world history. To be viewed as who we are and not as the negative images that have been created of us.
Let’s not forget that Africa is the birthplace of man and that black people, are the mothers and fathers of civilization.