Moving into the present, I stumbled upon the websites of damali ayo (her capitalization), a writer, performer, artist, comedian and activist, who uses what she describes as “Now Art” to engage audiences in discussing current race relations in America. ayo created the website “Rent-A-Negro” as a type of performance art and followed it with the companion book, How to Rent a Negro in 2005. The website and book raise questions regarding racial relationships in a satirical and witty way by providing humorous tips, quizzes and terms.
ayo also created, “I Can Fix It!” a free guide that outlines ten solutions for increased public participation in positive race relations. Like Richard Wright her work relies heavily on her own experiences growing up in a white-centric America. She captures the attention of the public through humor, then candidly opens up and encourages discussion of taboo topics. Instead of trying to describe her interactive work in detail, I highly recommend viewing the following clip of ayo’s interview with Bill O’Reilly, and visiting her websites to learn about her art and programming.