Unbranded: Reflections in Black Corporate America

Your Skin has the Power to Protect You

(American, 1976-)
Paper: 166.4 x 130.8 cm (65 1/2 x 51 1/2 in.)
© Hank Willis Thomas
Impression: 2
Location: not on view
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

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The Unbranded series encourages us to consider how advertising reinforces generalizations surrounding race, gender, and cultural identity.


Hank Willis Thomas chose 2 ads per year published in Ebony, a magazine aimed at African Americans, between 1968—the year Martin Luther King was assassinated—and 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected president. He subtracted all the branding information from the images and added titles, often satirical, to each image. The result is a four-decade survey of how advertisers thought African Americans wanted to see themselves.
Your Skin has the Power to Protect You

Your Skin has the Power to Protect You


Hank Willis Thomas

(American, 1976-)
America, 21st century

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