Louisville, KY native, visual artist and writer, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is currently writing a non-fiction essay/ prose-poetry book entitled SIR. The book is based upon the conceptual premise of “a name that undefines the defined.” She meditates on the black male body and contextualizing geographies in relationship to her brother, an African-American man whose first name is Sir. (His full name is Sir Antany Marquis Lavonne Hinkle. Hence the Marquis within the website title.) Hinkle’s mother named her brother Sir so that everybody would have to address him with a title of respect, regardless of the power relations he encountered as a black man living in a turbulent racially liminal Kentuckiana. It is Hinkle’s theory that her mother Delia Hinkle’s racist experiences during the desegregation of public schools while attending Valley High School influenced her choice of naming him both Sir and Marquis.
This book project intertwines the geography and historical implications of race relations in Louisville, KY from the 1950s to present day. The book weaves in and out of the following subjects: family history, naming, desegregation of public schools in 1970s, housing and historic land usage, the racial barriers within Louisville and the historical implications of wealth v.s oppression that were created as a result.
Within this project Hinkle conjures up deep-rooted injustices and questions of belonging and entitlement that are “inaugurated and foreclosed” through the name.
This blog will be used to update and discuss research, to contemplate issues surrounding Louisville’s history and race relations, and it will act as an archive that will chronicle the journey of creating a work of this nature.
Although Louisville, KY is a specific geography that Hinkle is undertaking, the issues brought up within this work mirrors several cities and their socio-political relationships to its citizens, non-citizens and invisible citizens.