Steven M. Cozart, who lives and works in Greensboro, North Carolina, received his BFA in art education, with a concentration in printmaking and drawing, from East Carolina University in 1995. Cozart’s work has been exhibited at North Carolina’s Greenville Museum of Art, Center for Visual Arts in Greensboro, Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, the African American Atelier, and the Randolph Artist Guild, and he has received grants and awards from the Central Piedmont Regional Artists Hub and the Fine Artists League of Cary, among others. Cozart teaches at Weaver Academy for Performing & Visual Arts and Advanced Technology in Guilford County and has been a visiting lecturer at East Carolina University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Guilford College.
An installment in our weekly series, The By and By.
It’s pretty common knowledge, though, that when chattel slavery was being practiced in the United States, light-skinned people—often the offspring of land owning men and the women they held enslaved—were more likely to work in the house or have some other form of privileged status, while those with darker skin labored outside, doing demanding physical work in the fields. This caste system is one of the many ways that white supremacy rooted itself in American culture at large; colorism persisted well into the twentieth century, and a residue lingers even today.