18″ x 12″
Edition of 60
Three-layer screen-print on Cougar, printed in my kitchen, 270gsm/100lb Digital Smooth archival paper. San Leandro, CA (June) 2022
In the 1960s the Brown & Proud was Chicanx cultural affirmation, a way for young people who grew up in a world where racist ideologies constantly asserted that their skin color was a symbol of their inferiority and inhumanity. Exclaiming Brown & Proud was a way for young Chicanx to reaffirm not only their humanity but to let the world know that they were proud of their people’s history. Today, we continue to face this racist ideology that tries to convince Xicanx people that they are inferior. Since SB 1070 (“the show me your papers” law) passed in Arizona and more recently the Trump presidency, we have seen the rise of racist attacks on Black and Brown people. I feel it is more crucial to reaffirm that our humanity matters, that we are Brown & Proud.
At the bottom I added the phrase Con Safos, this is another throwback to the 1960 Chicanx culture. Although there is not much to the origin of its origin, Jose Antonio Burciaga discusses its meaning in his book “Drink Cultura” where he wrote:
The c/s sign-off means ‘con safos’, and translates literally as “with safety.” It was meant as a safety precaution, a barrio copyright, patent pending. No one else could use or dishonor the graffiti. It was an honorable code of conduct, a literary imprimatur. Like saying “amen,” it ended discussion.
In this poster I use Con Safos as Burciaga does, a sign off with the caution to stay safe. Because in this society Xicanx people, like other people of color, are targets of racism and violence. I hope with this simple gesture, of reaffirming our humanity, and exclaiming that I’m Brown & Proud reaches the younger generations who are facing this racism today.