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The concept of this shoot derives from the term 'Double Consciousness' coined in W.E.B. Du Bois' THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK.  It looks at how we, black women - the 'other' - are forced to look at ourselves through the eyes of mainstream society and negotiate with this gaze within ourselves - continuously looking for self-understanding and inner peace.  We are in a never-ending, historical dance - vulnerable, protective, threatening...but with the company of one another, of black female/femme community, we begin to take back our control, to rest, even for a moment, in each other's gaze.  We begin to relax among ourselves, among the company of our sisters."



I lie on African sheets staring at walls decorated of Haitian dreams - this is the foundation of my American home - entangled, never to be undone.  The President of the United States has referred to Haiti and African nations as "shithole" countries.  This is yesterday's news.

This editorial is in direct conversation with Donald Trump's recent words about Haiti and African nations.  The President of the United States has referred to Haiti and African Nations as 'shithole' countries.  This editorial challenges this problematic and limited understanding of what makes a country spectacular.  How the inclusion of other cultures in the U.S. is a gift that keeps on giving.  Here the model exists on American soil in an American home as she is surrounded by Haitian art and culture.  It is the mixture of these two cultural factors that create home and that make this home beautiful.  They are tangled in one another and they have made room for her to reside in. This product of a "shithole" country adds beauty to her U.S. home, to U.S. soil, and she will continue to carve her space.



I wanted to explore the unshakable presence of the black spirit when it comes to documentation of the black bodies, specifically in a time where there is an obsession with the use of black and brown bodies as props of "coolness" and mainstream "culture."  Despite this obsession and the emptiness that comes along with it, society does not successfully objectify us - black and brown peoples.  Our spirit cannot be stolen or remanufactured at the will of media.  In this photo series, the models carry a spirit, a link to history, a thought deeply ingrained in their bodies, their skin, their soul that belongs only to them, to the history of their people, and to the people they will later pass this spirit onto.