Yvonne Buchanan’s work involves a lot of African American experiences and symbolism in history that is mostly presented in the form of visual art and video.
The video piece Speak depicts a young black man standing in the middle of the frame looking at the camera with a distorted speech bubble that appears above his head and a distorted voice speaking. Buchanan says the colors are African textiles of different tribes in Africa. The different textiles represent that multiple languages spoken throughout the continent, the reason for their distortion is that African Americans have “forgotten their native languages from their ancestors,” says Buchanan. She goes on to say that African language is foreign to most people, another reason for the distortion of the textiles and voice.
This other video installment is titles Crows; it is a small screen cased in a box, the video shows a forest scene with crows landing on and taking off of the branches of trees, the crows have white circles that act as spot lights. Buchanan made this piece that symbolized the way blacks were treated in early US history. The term Crow was used to describe them. Blacks were not seen as individuals, only in groups, that is represented by when a white circle lands on more than one crow, they are clearer to see.