My Country Needs Me

Rodney Ewing, American, born 1964. Published by Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia.


Color offset lithograph

Image and sheet: 21 7/16 x 29 7/8 inches (54.5 x 75.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, in memory of Anne d'Harnoncourt, 2009

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Ewing is keenly interested in the complexity of cultural environments as they are shaped by the dynamics of race, religion, and war. The quotation used in this print comes from an essay on the origins and abuse of racial and gender-based epithets, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book,” by African American feminist literary critic Hortense Spillers. The words, juxtaposed with a disjointed face (a combined image of a black boxer and an African mask) and a background reminiscent of an American flag, allude to the ways in which African Americans are categorized and presented, and the resulting impact on our culture.