Black women are degraded at every turn. We're just beginning to be treated with sensitivity and nuance in popular media. With Black-women led vehicles like Being Mary Jane and How to Get Away with Murder, the mainstream gets a glimpse of our complexity. Still, we fight damaging depictions that reflect centuries of misrepresentation every day.
Photo projects like the The New Stereotype: QUEEN Edition combat the falsehoods circulated about Black womanhood in more ways than one. Shot by Brooklyn-based With Creative Direction from Marquelle Turner-Gilchrist (@marquelleturner) and photographed by Shola Bashorun (@aqut) women from diverse backgrounds and with varied career interests stand together.
The participants saw in the project a goal beyond a beautiful set of images. This was a means of reclaiming power.
"We are defining the narrative," Bree Wijnaar, blogger at The Tall Society, said. "We are telling the story and we are sharing inspiring imagery. We shine a positive light on the wonderful diversity amongst black women."
And that self-definition is not only for the benefit of those who will view the photos. Rebekah felt empowered by the experience. "Is it weird for me to say I feel like an icon?," she said.
We all need to be reminded of our brilliance. Ultimately, this is a project for Black women.
Photo: Shola/Instagram: @aqut