FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Black student that attends the University of Arkansas feels discriminated against after he was recently asked to take down his artwork that has been displayed in the university’s art center for nearly a month.
M’Shinda Abdullah-Broaddus says his artwork educates the public about the misinformation spread about gay intercourse from the perspective of a Black male.
“How the stereotypes and racist ways that Black men are depicted in gay porn impede the way we can exist authentically in reality,” Abdullah-Broaddus said.
Abdullah-Broaddus says his work was approved by the art administration when starting this project and approved when he first displayed it.
“I’m just completely disenchanted by the university because of their inability to support a marginalized student after making the decision to bring them here and fund them to make this work,” Abdullah-Broaddus said.
However, Abdullah-Broaddus says the university recently told him to cover his art or take it down after it deemed his work inappropriate.
“These images are all about education. It’s all about, you know, as a gay male and as a Black gay male, we experienced a specific sort of kind of isolation, a specific and more pressurized homophobia,” Abdullah-Broaddus said.
According to John Thomas, the media spokesperson for the University of Arkansas, the university has no problem with students displaying their artwork.
Thomas says in this case Abdullah-Broaddus’ artwork involved graphic nudity and had to be covered from public view.
“In this case, a graduate student’s project involved graphic nudity, due to the graphic content efforts have been put in place to inform potential viewers so they can make an informed choice of whether to view the material,” Thomas said.
Thomas says the university did place covers on the windows in the room where Abdullah-Broaddus’ art is displayed as a courtesy to the public.
“In this instance, the student art display happens to be located in a room with walls made of glass, and that is visible to an area of the building where members of the public, including minors, could be present, so appropriate screening measures were undertaken,” Thomas said.
As a comprise for both parties, Abdullah-Broaddus’ artwork still remains in the new art center and Thomas says the university did place shielding and a note to warn viewers before viewing the art.