Otabenga Jones & Associates
The People’s Plate: The Food Magazine for Children, 2018
Three commercial billboards; each 10' 6" x 22' 10"
Inspired by the Free Breakfast for Children Program begun by the Black Panthers, to cook and serve breakfast to poor inner-city children, The People’s Plate is a multi-disciplinary project that aims to provide Black community members with a set of tools that encourage self-sufficiency and empowerment in maintaining their health through optimal food choices. Previously, an outdoor mural served as the vehicle to connect food and diet with histories of art and activism. In Nashville, the artist collective Otabenga Jones & Associates presents excerpts from a hypothetical food magazine for children that would nurture the development of consciousness around issues of land, food, health, and economics as they relate to Black life. Three pages unfold across three commercial billboards. Drawing visual inspiration from Highlights, an American children’s magazine that gained popularity in the 1970s, the billboards represent the front cover (The Black Panthers), a coloring page (Sister Coretta King), and a splash page for a story (Fannie Lou Hamer). The project encourages viewers to consider how class, race, and location determine who has access to food, and the effects of hunger on culture and morality.
Lamar is the premier out-of-home advertising provider in the Nashville area, providing traditional and digital billboard coverage across the city and in all surrounding suburbs. The Otabenga Jones & Associates billboards are located near the following intersections: Murfreesboro Pike & Parris Avenue (419 Murfreesboro Road), Murfreesboro Pike & Elm Hill Pike (366 Murfreesboro Road), and Lafayette Street & 6th Avenue South (535 Lafayette Street).