Interactive Racial Experiment using trash bins, brown paper bags and brown paper.
The American Chairs game is a satirical response that reenacts the segregation tactics that were in place before and during the Greensboro sit-ins in the 1960s. It was created to extend our understanding of the historical event by way of an interactive experience. Players were given black and white wrist-bands and could only sit in seats assigned by their wristbands. The whites were allowed to sit on any chair while the blacks could only sit on the few chairs available to them. Similar to musical chairs, after each round a chair was removed. Brown paper bags were used throughout the design to represent the colorism tests that determined entry during the times of segregation in America. Players blindly chose wristbands from a brown paper bag to contribute to the fairness or unfairness of fate. Though the game did get a bit rowdy at times, when left to organic gameplay with no interruption, there was never a black wristband in the final rounds.