Blackness for Sale

Keith Townsend Obadike attempted to sell his blackness on eBay as a net.performance. The description of what buyers would obtain in exchange for money was full of ironic but elusive references to the history of objectifying black bodies in the slave trade and the contemporary commodifying of black culture. He received a wide range of responses from eBay visitors, black entrepreneurs, and European curators. Four days after posting his “item” Keith’s sale was terminated by eBay, the reason given was that it was found “inappropriate”. In the following interview he assesses the reception of his net.performance and the colonialist underpinnings of the navigational vocabulary of the internet. (From an interview of Keith with artist and critic Coco Fusco: