W is for White

Anton Kannemeyer, South African, born 1967



Hand printed lithograph on paper

Edition of 35

Overall: 22 1/2 × 17 1/2 in. (57.2 × 44.4 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the William S. Rubin Fund



Place Made: South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa


21st century

Object Name


Research Area



Not on view


Text: w is for white / white [underscored] adj. clour of milk or fresh / snow, innocent, unstained, pure, / unblemished, bright, anti-revolution- /ary, auspicious, reliable, favourable, honorable, honest, upright, with- / out bloodshed, free from guilt. / SOURCES: CHAMBERS & OXFORD DICTIONARIES


Anton Kannemeyer, a white South African graphic artist, uses the color pink and the seemingly innocent comic style to increase the political impact of his work. The text and image in isolation are not political, but the pairing of a white man and the dictionary definition of "white" creates dialogue around race and racism. From the Alphabet of Democracy series, the image presents race issues in an uncomfortably playful manner. Although the artist is South African, the work resonates just as strongly in the United States, where race tensions remain high. The cartoonish figure and positive language might seen innocent, but when paired with its pendant, B is for Black, with the text defining "black" as messy, without light, illegal, dirty, and grotesque, the juxtaposition is powerful.

From the 2019 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 96, The Politics of Pink, curated by Charlotte Grussing '19, Conroy Intern 

Course History

SOCY 7.2, Race and Ethnicity, Emily Walton, Spring 2014

SOCY 7.1, Race and Ethnicity, Emily Walton, Winter 2015

WRIT 5, On Poor Taste, William Boyer, Winter 2015

AAAS 67.5, GEOG 21.01, Black Consciousness and Black Feminisms, Abigail Neely, Winter 2019

Art History 63.13, Bad Art!, Katie Hornstein, Summer 2023

History 67.01/African and African American Studies 46.01, History of Modern South Africa, Robert Zeinstra III, Winter 2024

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 96, The Politics of Pink, Charlotte Grussing,Class of 2019, Conroy Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 28-November 3, 2019.

Anton Kannemeyer, Fear of a Black Planet, Michael Steveson Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa, October 16-Novemeber 22, 2008.

Publication History

Michael Stevenson, Anton Kannemeyer, Fear of a Black Planet, Woodstock, South Africa, ill. p. 19.

Charlotte Grussing,Class of 2019, Conroy Intern, A Space for Dialogue 96, The Politics of Pink, Hanover, New Hampshire, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019.


Michael Stevenson Fine Art CC, Cape Town, South Africa; sold to present collection, 2009.

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