Blackness for Sale

Creative Work
Record Status: 
Description (in English): 

Keith Obadike's Blackness for Sale was an eBay page advertising the sale of his blackness. The general format of eBay includes only the basic information about the product necessary to make it desirable for purchase. An item for sale typically includes a title or name of the product, a description of its uses, a starting price, and a photograph. In the case of Blackness for Sale, Obadike abided by this same format but replaces the description with a litany of pros and cons of blackness. Obadike focused on the selling points of blackness but then juxtaposed it with “warnings” of the drawbacks of owning a black identity. Although Obadike’s warnings were legitimate aspects of blackness, they were only issues of concern when inhabiting black flesh. Blackness for Sale Blackness for Sale furthered the notion that black people have been homogenized to the point where their experiences have become indistinguishable; to the outside world and the buyer, there is one black experience. Part of a person is advertised and valued much higher while systematically omitting the other elements that define their personhood. The most profitable aspect of black people is no longer their physical body but rather everything that encompasses their existence. Black culture becomes a new form of capital and the internet is where it is exchanged. Black culture can be taken from the internet without having to interact with or acknowledge the black body, thus erasing black people. Whereas before black people were only valued in capitalist societies for their physical abilities, they are now more so valued for their cultural capital.


Screen shots: 
Blackness for Sale screenshot
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Record posted by: 
Scott Rettberg