Our Lamentations: Never Forgotten Daddy
Oil on canvas, 2018
Collection of the artist
Never Forgotten Daddy is part of Our Lamentations, Sedrick Huckaby’s portrait series that addresses the disproportionate death rate in some communities from causes such as police brutality, economic disparity, and lack of health care. Here, Huckaby’s friend Crystal Baker faces a quilt resembling a stained glass window, conjuring the long tradition of quilt making among African Americans while highlighting spiritual resilience.
As with all of the portraits in Huckaby’s series, this is a double portrait. The sitter’s t-shirt memorializes her father, Charles Edwards Thomas, a beloved carpenter and handyman, who died due to complications from a spider bite. Wearing funerary t-shirts to honor loved ones is a tradition found predominantly among African American and Latino communities. Huckaby also believes these garments speak to the powerful healing rituals of portraiture among marginalized groups.