The Southern Shop

The System by Jamaal Barber



Linocut and serigraph
24 x 18 inches (h x w)
Edition of 5

"My print is about the narrative of black criminality. There is a narrative of fear around encounters with African Americans as if we are more dangerous in any circumstance compared to other groups. An unarmed black man will be killed for perceived aggression as if we are inherently evil and dangerous. The cause of high African American incarceration rates is not seen as a continuous, systematic application of bias that started immediately after slavery. The myth is 'blacks simply commit more crimes, do more drugs, and are less likely to follow the law'. The black child being presented in my print has been immediately wrapped in his standard issue orange blanket from the Department of Corrections because the system believes he was born inherently predisposed to crime. He is assumed to be dangerous and must be locked away before he hurts anybody. He will never given the chance to live free."

Jamaal Barber is a creative imaginative soul who was born in Virginia and raised in Littleton, North Carolina. At a young age he was fascinated by the aesthetic images and vivid illustrations in children’s books and comic books. He soon started creating images of his own on the back of his textbooks in elementary school and on any other material that he could find. He finally answered the call to become an artist after reading about the legacy and life of Romare Bearden in high school.
In 2013, after seeing a screen printing demo at a local art store, Jamaal started experimenting with printmaking and made it his primary focus. His fine art can be seen on display at the ZuCot Gallery. It has also been included in the Decatur Arts Festival, Atlanta Print Biennial Show and at various art shows around the Metro Atlanta area. Additionally, Jamaal has done print work for Black Art in America and Emory University.
In 2004, Jamaal moved to Atlanta, GA where he now resides with his wife and two children.

Domestic shipping available for $15, please add shipping to your order if you would like your print(s) mailed.

  • The System by Jamaal Barber 5 in stock