Soon after photography was invented, African American photographers like James Van Der Zee and Thomas E. Askew sought to dismantle the typical stereotypes of their culture. Tackling the misconceptions about people of color, African American photographers show the complexities of the black narrative and perspective. My series will return to this tradition.
I have always felt that one’s dress should reflect to what they aspire to become. It’s pride in self, family and culture that drives my Black, Brown,and Beige portrait series. Inspired by Duke Ellington’s album of the same name, Ellington’s musical narrative tells the story of blacks in the Americas throughout the 1920’s,‘30’s and World War II. My images will depict African Americans in St.Louis as they attempt to overcome current economic, political and social issues in our society. In every image, the black body shown may not be a financial success, but I’m determined to show them in greatness nonetheless. My subjects will be simply placed in backgrounds reminisce of early paintings and photographs, they will be dressed to complaint the lush surrounding.