Graphic storyteller Keith Knight visited Thursday evening, Feb. 22, as a guest of the Visiting Artist series sponsored by the Creative Arts Division.
Keith Edgar Knight, Jr. was born in Malden, Mass. and is a previous San Francisco resident. In 2007, he moved to Los Angeles. He’s an award-winning cartoonist, rapper and hip hop musician. He developed his love for comics in high school and college.
His early comics attracted a lot of his friends and his instructors, even though he sometimes made fun of them, Knight says.
The way people automatically set up a default discrimination that right should be correct, left should be wrong, black should be bad and white should be good inspired him to draw comics, says Knight.
His work focuses on humorous and universal issues, and he often deals with political, social, and racial issues.
In his lecture, Knight shared with De Anza art students his daily life and work through a slide show of his favorite comics in The K Chronicles and (th)ink, which focus on race and politics.
Both his regular features, The K Chronicles and (th)ink, are published on his official website, www.kchronicles.com.
After Sept. 11, 2001, his comics were run in many newspapers, catching him even more attention from readers.
Knight’s comics are also an open talk about violence and sex in American life and culture. Knight says of his work and experiences “Never limit yourself, use anything you did and it may return a result.”
His visit attracted many De Anza students in different ages and from different majors.
“I feel interested in his comics on the Internet and I come to see his real person,” said Jenny Tran, a graphic design major.
Through his lecture and the exhibit, Knight focused on racial issue to give the students a new point of view about black culture.
“History is all year long,” said Knight. “If you want to know about black culture, talk to a black person who is 60 years old or older for 10 minutes, you will get a lot more than from any book or any commercial media.”
Lan Nguyen is a freelance reporter for La Voz.