‘Good Negroes’ Catapult Exhibit Examines Acceptance of Blacks in Public Spaces


“Good Negroes,” an exhibition of prints and mixed media by Terrell Carter, will be on display April 5-25 at Southeast Missouri State University’s Catapult Creative House.

Carter is a former St. Louis police officer and adjunct instructor at St. Louis Community College. His work highlights racial divisions following the shootings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and others in which police and citizens have negatively interacted with African Americans in public spaces.

An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, April 5, from 5-9 p.m. in the Catapult Creative House Gallery. Visitors are welcome to tour the entire Catapult facilities, including the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Art students’ studios. In addition, there will be live printing in the Letter Press area.

An artist talk also is planned for 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, at Catapult Creative House. r

Carter’s inspiration for the exhibit sprung from multiple public discussions since the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown incidents about the place and importance of race in our culture. Inevitably, Carter says, some of the questions raised during those discussions are, “Why can’t black people just be happy?” or “Why don’t black people just follow the rules?”

Carter asks, “What do the people who ask these questions mean by the word ‘happy’ or the phrase ‘follow the rules’”? These situations and conversations continue to remind the world of the racial and social dysfunction that is uniquely American, he said.

This exhibition examines what it takes for black people to be viewed as acceptable in public spaces. The artist seeks to address unwritten expectations that serve as guides so that African Americans do not make social or cultural waves. The artist says he hopes the works found in this exhibit spur open and honest dialogue that will help change the nation for the good.

Catapult Creative House is located at 612 Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.  All gallery exhibitions, events and talks are free and open to the public. For more information contact Leah Powers at lepowers@semo.edu or (573) 290-5372.