This Stunning Photo Series Brings Black Women Together to Represent Sisterly Support

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.
"There's this weird notion that women don't support each other," Rebekah Gordon, a law student and one of the women filmed, told us. "Specifically that black women work hard to keep each other down and are competitive especially in the professional world--and this project shows that that is not at all true."

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.

"I hope they see the the strength, wisdom, triumphs, determination that the women represented in this project have," Kelly Louis-Pierre, a marketing and digital strategy consultant, said. "And I hope others [black women] see and acknowledge that within themselves."

Photo: Shola/Instagram: @aqut