Some of her works depict Black girls with boxing gloves in place of hands. “When did the gloves of Black womanhood come on us? When is it, all of a sudden, that we have to defend ourselves?” she asked, speaking to such works. “It’s around the age, I think, from maybe 14 to 22 [when] we have to start defending ourselves. And it’s based on watching our mothers, our aunts, our community members and how they carry themselves—how we [learn to] defend our ideas of who we are.”
Gradually, she distilled her approach into four key aspects—pop culture, Black culture, art history, and American history—and she continues to imbue varying degrees of each into her works. She mentions, for example, repeatedly using James Baldwin’s eyes in her collages, Michelle Obama’s fist, and portions of Willow Smith’s face. “I think she has the most beautiful, soft face,” she says of Smith’s features.