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Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. African & African American Studies. SIR intertwines the geographical and historical implications of race relations in Louisville, KY from the late 1800s to the present day. Through this lens, Hinkle meditates on motherhood, the Black male body and contextualizing geographies in relationship to her brother, an African-American man whose first name is Sir. 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 would encounter as a Black man living in a turbulent and racially liminal Kentucky. SIR is a means to interrogate and uncover the following: the efficacy of naming and its position within the African Diaspora, intersections of selfhood and cultural belonging, constructions of gender and race, and the complicated layers of social geography and family history.
"SIR sears, a hard, multigenre memoir that—I had to remind myself—is no elegy. Or at least not for Sir, who lives uneasily with this book and his name. What visual artist and writer Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle mourns here are the Black lives that have been constrained or taken by white supremacy. The reality of that violence stalks every page of this powerful and trenchant debut, making it urgent that we understand what makes a family hope a name can act as magic word, as blessing, as demand for respect. SIR. SIR. SIR."—Douglas Kearny
"In Kenyata A.C. Hinkle's SIR we are introduced to an incredible remix: part family narrative, part ethnography, part material ephemera, part eavesdrop, and all fire! SIR delves into the inner depths of intergenerational motherhood, manhood, and what it means to raise-up and grow-up Black in America. An elongated meditation on the power, risk, and surge of naming; SIR is a timely and necessary intervention into how we conceive of ourselves in the context of a society that insists on telling us who we are."—Matthew Shenoda
author siteMegan N. Liberty @ The Brooklyn RailFeature @ The Poetry Center
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer,and performer. She is an alum of CalArts in which she received her MFA in Art & Critical Studies-Creative Writing. Her artwork and performances of experimental texts have been reviewed by the LA Times, Artforum, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in Not That But This, Obsidian Journal, and Among Margins: Critical & Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics. She is also the author of Kentifrications: Convergent Truth(s) & Realities published by Occidental College and Sming Sming Books. Hinkle is currently the Assistant Professor of Painting at UC Berkeley's Department of Art Practice.Author City: OAKLAND, CA USA