Poster Image

I Am from the Hood


Item#: 2008SYR02

Purchase Details

11x17-inches, printed on heavy weight (100-pound) Hammermill cover paper. We package each print with a piece of chipboard in a clear plastic sleeve.

You also receive…

An information page with photos of the artist and poet, and hand-written comments from each.

Medium- and large-format posters are available by custom order. Contact us for details.

I Am from the Hood

poster information


I am from the hood
The hood did not enslave me
I am my master

I didn't grow up in a housing project. I came from a two-parent household on the west side of Syracuse. But if I were to visualize this poem, I would visualize me, standing in a project, with chains all around me. One chain might be drugs, another might be prostitution, or alcoholism. Different vices for each chain. I'd have my hand pointing to my head. My head would be like a lock, and my hand like a key. With knowledge, I can sever those chains and move out of that situation.

I'm not stuck in that situation myself, but I have relatives who are. I talk to them. It's like, "Yeah, I know you're right, I have control over my destiny." Some of them act on it, some of them don't. Because many people need reinforcement, and they need to hear it from more than just one person.

I've been working with modified peace sign imagery for about a year now. Some of them have sliced or tilted fingers to represent a sort of censorship. But in the image I created for this project, I felt the upside down peace sign could look like a figure walking through space, possibly from one social status to the next.

The hash marks, which create that space, function as jail bars or fences. The hash marks are also a mode of counting -- whether it's the number of people in the hood, or the number of loved ones killed by the hood. The light orange, transparent disk represents being watched, like through the lens of a camera. Even though you're from the hood, and you escaped, there's still an uneasy sense of surveillance.