There's only one race—the Human Race.
What's it like being Black in Santa Cruz?
First and foremost I do identify as Black. "Black" is different from African-American. That comes up in conversation: Are you Black or are you African-American? I consider myself Black, partly because I'm mixed. My dad came from Seoul. He's half Black and half Korean. So there's that aspect of it. My mom is Creole and African-American. When you look at our family, you've got all shades of color.
Black vs. African-American started in the 90s because there was an Afro-centrism movement. Connecting back to the closest thing that we have to ancestry, which is African ancestry. So when you identify as African-American you're recognizing your African roots. But identifying as 'Black', you're not necessarily recognizing your African ancestry but you're recognizing your place here in the United States. We don't know exactly, you can't pinpoint on a map, your exact lineage. Your ancestors may have come from Africa, but Africa is a very large continent. Which country did you come from? Which tribe? Which 'nation' did you come from. So that's what 'Black' really means—it's a mix of all of it. It covers all of it, and every shade.
What would you like viewers of this exhibit to come away thinking about?
I studied Anthropology and cultural relativism that says there is no such thing as race as a biological product. It is much more a social and cultural construct. Because genetically speaking we're so close. There's not much difference between us. If we shared the same blood type I'd be able to share an organ with you, or you with me. But culturally speaking and socially speaking we've created these constructs. We've created these qualities about people, at first to create identifiers, but I think we put the cart before the horse in some ways. We've let those identifiers become much more than just categories or classifications of people, we've started to associate them as the people themselves. And that's where we as a society have failed.
Tremain is a big fan of Halloween, horror movies and comic books.