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Adrian Piper's 2003 Letter to the Editor


#1

Artist and philosopher Adrian Piper, who won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale his year, has a rather interesting section of her website titled **@#%!!CENSORED: Letters to the Editor*. Below is a general letter to all editors, very much worth reading.

Dear Editor:

Please don’t call me a black artist.
Please don’t call me a black philosopher.
Please don’t call me an African American artist.
Please don’t call me an African American philosopher.

Please don’t call me a woman artist.
Please don’t call me a woman philosopher.
Please don’t call me a female artist.
Please don’t call me a female philosopher.

Please don’t call me a black woman artist.
Please don’t call me a black woman philosopher.
Please don’t call me an African American woman artist.
Please don’t call me an African American woman philosopher.
Please don’t call me a black female artist.
Please don’t call me a black female philosopher.
Please don’t call me an African American female artist.
Please don’t call me an African American female philosopher.
Please don’t call me a female black artist.
Please don’t call me a female black philosopher.
Please don’t call me a female African American artist.
Please don’t call me a female African American philosopher.

Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be black.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be black.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be African American.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be African American.

Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be a woman.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be a woman.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be female.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be female.

Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be black and a woman.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be black and a woman.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be a woman and black.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be a woman and black.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be African American and a woman.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be African American and a woman.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be a woman and African American.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be a woman and African American.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be black and female.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be black and female.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be female and black.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be female and black.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be African American and female.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be African American and female.
Please don’t call me an artist who happens to be female and African American.
Please don’t call me a philosopher who happens to be female and African American.

Please don’t call me a black artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me a black philosopher and artist.
Please don’t call me an African American artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me an African American philosopher and artist.

Please don’t call me a woman artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me a woman philosopher and artist.
Please don’t call me a female artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me a female philosopher and artist.

Please don’t call me a black woman artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me a black woman philosopher and artist.
Please don’t call me an African American woman artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me an African American woman philosopher and artist.
Please don’t call me a black female artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me a black female philosopher and artist.
Please don’t call me an African American female artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me an African American female philosopher and artist.
Please don’t call me a female black artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me a female black philosopher and artist.
Please don’t call me a female African American artist and philosopher.
Please don’t call me a female African American philosopher and artist.

Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be black.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be black.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be African American.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be African American.

Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be a woman.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be a woman.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be female.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be female.

Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be black and a woman.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be black and a woman.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be a woman and black.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be a woman and black.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be African American and a woman.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be African American and a woman.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be a woman and African American.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be a woman and African American.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be black and female.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be black and female.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be female and black.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be female and black.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be African American and female.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be African American and female.
Please don’t call me an artist and philosopher who happens to be female and African American.
Please don’t call me a philosopher and artist who happens to be female and African American.

Dear Editor,
I hope you will bring to my attention any permutations I have overlooked.
I write to inform you that
I have earned the right to be called an artist.
I have earned the right to be called a philosopher.
I have earned the right to be called an artist and philosopher.
I have earned the right to be called a philosopher and artist.
I have earned the right to call myself anything I like.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Adrian Piper

1 January 2003