#Black

       As a Black, millennial woman living in the U.S., I have had to navigate my life through social stereotypes that often create preconceived notions about who I am, and how I function in society. These stereotypes have been fostered and implemented through a long history of the dehumanization of the Black Race. Today, these stereotypes are still extremely evident, and they are perpetuated through the mass of visual media that we are inundated with on a daily basis—through the new visual language of social media. With my generation’s main form of communication, comes change in social representation, and change in the vernacular associated with these representations. In the series titled #Black, I simultaneously enforce and reject generational and historical representations of Black people by creating satirical and challenging tropes through photographic images. These portrayals are highly influenced by the dialect of Black Social Media and Hip-Hop culture—they introduce hashtags and broken acronyms into the encyclopedia of vapid expressions that dictate how Blacks are confined to extremely narrow social implications. Through my creation of these characters that are all-too-familiar Black-faces, it is important to recognize and pay tribute to our past as African peoples, while at the same time rejecting the trite categorizations that institutionalized racism has attempted to effectively diminish us to.