"Two Parallel Universes, Never Intersecting"
"Two Parallel Universes, Never Intersecting" is a unique piece in the Good Mourning, America series using only line and texture to communicate a message. Hibbert was inspired to create this piece while sitting in a lecture in New York discussing the history of slavery at Georgetown and Brown Universities. The founders of both universities were owners of slaves and used proceeds from slave trade to establish the now prestigious academic institutions. The current president of Georgetown University, who is still an active professor on campus, recalled how In 2016, he took his students on a trip to the newly opened African American History museum in Washington DC. He shared the story of one of his students who visited the Smithsonian American History museum the day before and could not reconcile how different the narratives are. The moderator of the discussion described it as "two parallel universes, never intersecting."
Hibbert used this vivid description as inspiration for a piece that describes the relationship between "American history", as taught in schools and history books, and the often overlooked vantage point of African American history. The background of the painting is chalkboard paint on wood panel, putting the viewer in the mindset of a student in a classroom preparing to learn a lesson. The dark black line, bold and clean, has no defined beginning or end points. When studied, it appears to be an abstraction of the word "history", representing American history as recorded and taught in schools - clean, bold, and noble. Paralleling the dark line is a more rugged line made in charcoal. It mirrors the well defined black line but is visibly rougher, has defined beginning and end points, and like chalk on a chalkboard appears erasable. One may interpret the charcoal line as society's view of African American history - a compliment to American history that can be erased or amended where it doesn't fit the desired narrative. The brown colored profile of the panel provides a noticeable contrast to the black face of the piece. Assuming the face of the painting to be a front-facing view of American history, the colored profile suggests a more obscure narrative - that America's history of prosperity is one built on the labor of brown peoples (e.g. African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexicans).