The Light of the Earth
Black women deserve better.
All Black women.
The gay Black women, the straight Black women, the trans Black women--
All Black women deserve to not only feel comfortable in their skin, but exalted and praised too. Black skin is a gift, not a burden.
'The Light of the Earth' photo shoot is meant to exemplify the sheer strength of Black women, but let this photo shoot serve as a reminder that
Black women are strong even when they are gentle.
Black women are strong even when they are broken.
Black women are strong even when they are emotive.
Society normalizes the pain and mistreatment of Black women, choosing to overlook their emotional trauma and invalidate their humanity through application of the 'Strong Black Woman' trope.
Black women, you are allowed to be vulnerable.
Black women are trapped in an existential crossroads, forcibly having to defend themselves against non-Black women and cishet Black men to simply breathe.
As a Black man, curating this photo shoot was my attempt at reconciliation for the hurt we continue to afflict upon our sisters, despite the fact Black women consistently remain at the forefront of protests demanding justice for us.
Oluwatoyin Salau. Say her name. We failed her and so many others.
I recognize that I am merely putting a band-aid on the entrenched and systemic blatant abuse of Black women in this country.
Black men, we simply have to do better. There needs to be a dismantling of toxic masculinity and established power dynamics in Black communities.
Black women live with the weight of the world on their shoulders, depriving themselves of oxygen so others can simply breathe.
Black women continue to light up a world plagued with darkness.
And for that, I say thank you.
-Creative Director, Julian Crosby
"I am a black woman.... Look on me and be renewed"-- Mari Evans