Black Love Matters
5 in. x 7 in.
Medium (mixed)
Collage and ink on paper
prison Artist
2015 Exhibition
Prison Cell, LA, CA, USA
2021 Exhibition
1-Artist; 1-Subject; 21-Works, Global-internet

Donald “C-Note” Hooker’s artwork, Black Love Matters (2015), delves into the profound connection between incarcerated Black men and free Black women during the era of mass incarceration. 

This artwork serves as a powerful example of the Neo Jim Crow Art movement, where incarcerated African Americans express their experiences living under the current system of oppression.

C-Note had donated Black Love Matters to Critical Resistance, an organization dedicated to dismantling the prison industrial complex. The painting’s title intentionally invokes Black Lives Matter, highlighting the importance of  love and unity within the Black community, especially when faced with systems designed to create divisions.

The Story Behind the Painting

Black Love Matters was initially created to complement C-Note’s epic poem: “It Must End! (BLACK FEMALE BOYCOTTS AGAINST BLACK MEN IN THE PEN)“. The artwork’s title evolved over time, reflecting discussions and concerns about how its message might be interpreted by the internet and society at large.

C-Note’s use of collage visually echoes the layered themes explored in the poem. Prison bars are depicted in ink, a traditional prison art medium. The deliberate choice of featuring a dark-skinned Black woman challenges historical biases favoring lighter complexions in representations of Black feminine beauty. This emphasis was personal for C-Note, intended to celebrate the beauty inherent in all Black women.

C-Note is a prolific artist creating powerful works while incarcerated. His art is a vital contribution to the Neo Jim Crow Art movement, documenting the Black experience from within the prison system. As a result, Critical Resistance, who accepts donations, felt the need to return Black Love Matters to C-Note; therefore, we encourage readers to support Critical Resistance in their work to end the prison industrial complex.

Celebrate Black love, stand with Black communities, and own a piece of history

Purchase a Black Love Matters art print and amplify C-Note’s powerful voice within the Neo Jim Crow Art movement. Your support fuels the fight against mass incarceration and empowers Black love to thrive. By owning this print, you become part of a movement for social justice and a celebration of Black resilience – click on the image below 👇

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