When one speaks about photography, one also speaks about identity and representation; the power that pictures have over the social sphere; and the ways that race, gender, and class influence how and what people see in the world. These truths apply to the person who stands behind the camera as much as they do to who stands in front of the lens. Since the inception of photography, African Americans have worked in the medium in order to wrest control of their images from those who have used the art form to objectify them. This is particularly true in the case of Black women, whose sociopolitical position has been and remains in jeopardy due to their bodies being an intersection of beliefs about race, gender, class, and sexuality. As the most hypervisible of under-recognized people, Black women are most often discussed in terms of their physical attributes (such as the size of their buttocks, the texture of their hair, and the depth of their skin tones) and their sexuality and temperament. To put it simply, ‘the Black woman’s body is always public, always exposed’, while Black female subjectivities–their experiences, beliefs, and perspectives–are always out of sight and out of order.
Crystal Am Nelson
Quote is from African American Women and Photography. This is really important as it speaks to the unique experiences of Black women and oppression and how photography can be used subjectively by us, to tell our truths and fight against minimizing or binary images meant to oppress or facilitate oppression. Black women as photographers and as photography subjects, not objects, are revolutionary.
When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
Remember this because it will happen many times in your life. When people show you who they are the first time believe them. Not the 29th. time. When a man doesn’t call you back the first time, when you are mistreated the first time, when someone shows you lack of integrity or dishonesty the first time, know that this will be followed many many other times, that will some point in life come back to haunt or hurt you. Live your life in truth. Don’t pretend to be someone your not. You will survive anything if you live your life from the point of view of truth.