As we approach the end of Black History Month, I would like to use this space to highlight three groundbreaking African American female photographers who have contributed to and challenged the genre of photography and black feminism. Their work and activism has been transformative to American culture over the past several decades. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.
Ming Smith, as a photographer, has been depicting African American life while simultaneously redefining the art world and the role of black women in it. She was the first female member of the Harlem based photography collective Kamoinge, which was founded in 1963 by fifteen black photographers. Her work has been described as surreal and ethereal.
Janice Bond creates photography, minimalist paintings, installations, and soundscapes that are inspired - as she puts it - by the multidimensional terrain of human perspectives and identity, sacred geometry, sound frequencies, and indigenous fractal patterns found in various cultures and urban landscapes. Her work focuses on the themes of gender, sexuality, race, and body type.
Let's get Political
I'd like to share some resources with you that I've been collecting and suggest to anyone looking to make an impact, politically.
- For anyone wondering why it's important to participate in the fight against racial inequality and the dismantling of white privilege as a white person, this link provides some key points to pursue racial equity work.
- There are more Black women running for political office all over the United States than ever before, and we need to know who they are. This website will help you find candidates and show you where to get more information about their stances on the issues. You can also invest in Black women's political leadership here.
Finally, I'd like to say how thankful I am for the teenage activists coming out against the NRA. We have seen far too many tragedies because a bunch of predominantly white men and boys have gotten their hands on guns when they shouldn't have. We have heard politicians talk about prayer and mental illness and everything else other than the true problem - how it's easier to get a gun than to vote, or drive a car, or get a fishing license. This had left most Americans feeling hopeless that gun reform could become a reality. Well, since the survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting have entered the national dialog, I think the pendulum is swinging.
- Here's a list of things we can all do to be part of the momentum these students have created and make our voices heard about common sense gun reform.
- Make sure you're registered to vote in the November elections and help to get rid of any politicians beholden to the gun lobby.
- Also, make sure to put your money where your mouth is. These companies have been partnered with the NRA.