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Artist: Alyssa

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

About the Artist

What I like about art is that each piece doesn’t have to necessarily make sense. You can never dispute the vision of the artist, only admire or reject it. The steps an artist takes cannot be categorized as wrong or right, which makes art such a liberating form of expression. It gives us so much power to create and destroy. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide what to do with that power.

-- Alyssa, YPIE Scholar 2026

About this Project

“Censored.” is a stab at the everyday experiences of a Black woman. From the discomfort felt in a school environment to the millions of social media posts that flood the internet everyday. Black women are constantly ridiculed by the same society that fails to recognize them as the blueprint for all that is. The scenarios covered in this book are universally felt and understood by Black women who have all suffered similar fates. As a community, our stereotypes relentlessly work to define us and it proves nearly impossible to break out of the confines of “Angry Black Woman.”

Through extensive observation, recollection, and research, the topics in this book have been carefully curated to communicate what it feels like to be a Black girl in society. The experiences of a community cannot be better explained than by a member of that community. In the midst of fabricated stories, performative activism, and misdirection lies the truth. And you can see it for yourself in “Censored.”


Acrylic and Watercolor on paper

8.5’’ x 11’’

This is the cover of my comic book. The story follows a young black girl by the name of Sage Kingsley as she struggles to present herself to the world in hopes of staving off her stereotypes. Sage cannot always act in the way she desperately wants to because society will just consider her as another Black woman that they look down upon. She is born into a world that forces her to censor herself just to be seen as a real person, and not the color of her skin. The idea of censorship is further emphasized in the illustration as Sage’s face is glitched out, much like the bars one would see on their TV after losing service.

“Sage Kingsley”

Pen on paper

8.5’’ x 11’’

This is a profile sketch of the main character, Sage Kingsley. I wanted to style her hair differently in this drawing to show the versatility of Black hair. Many of the stereotypes about Black women revolve around their physical appearance. Oftentimes, people think “Black hair isn’t good hair” or that “Black women can’t grow long hair.” These statements are both completely false.

Sage’s hair is a direct representation of being unapologetically Black. Although she may continue to battle with the shackles of society, her hair will always be a reminder of who she is. The perceptions of others will no longer cloud her gaze. She will stride through life with a confidence that is deep-rooted in self-assurance-- and with the motivation to spark change.

“The Walk Home”

Pen on paper

8.5’’ x 11’’

This is a blown up concept sketch for a panel. This scene occurs after Sage’s exhausting day of school. It is her moment of clarity before having to return to the hardships of reality. On her walk, there is nothing to focus on except for the music vibrating in her ears and the buildings that pass her as she strolls by. She is completely relaxed and in her element.

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