WHAT WE DO:

Portraits. 

 

 

WHY WE DO:

All black lives matter, and since seeing is believing, we're making visible those lives in their diversity of manifestations within the black experience.

 

 

WHAT'S THE STRUGGLE:

For many reasons, it's safe to say that the world is not as it ought be. One of those reasons is racism.

 

Race is a construct, a system created by humans, and as author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said in an interview with Zadie Smith, "The only reason race matters is racism."

 

 

In 1776, the same year as the United States Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, J.F. Blumenbach's reissue of his dissertation On Natural Variety of Mankind was published. The work ranked the peoples of the globe into five aesthetic groupings, with the Caucasian group at the top of the pyramid as "most handsome and becoming," while the Ethiope group was said to "come nearer the apes than other men."

 

Blumenbach's "academic" findings were considerably influential in shaping the minds of its time, allowing for such atrocities as the Three-Fifth's Compromise in the United States, counting African slaves in the Americas as 3/5th of a person -- less than human -- up until 1865. Even after granted citizenship, blacks found that to be African American was not to participate in a shared national identity, but rather exclusion from the nation.

 

While 1776 and 1865 may seem like a long time ago, consequences of such thought still effect the present. Today, our American classrooms are still segregated; black bodies are still criminalized, profiled, and disposed of without consequence in the same way they were during Reconstruction; basic rights of citizenship that were fought for during the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s are still denied; and the same five groupings described by Blumenbach are the five races listed on our modern US Census. But why? Why have we allowed such labels to divide and define us so? And why have we permitted America's racist past and all of its repercussions to seep into the present?

 

 

WHAT'S THE DREAM:

The dream? We can't speak for everyone, but for us at PoB, it's not so different from the one described on August 28, 1963: that one day, the words of the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" will truly be a reality for all people across the nation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN MIC:

We are neither omniscient nor omnipresent; therefore, it would be silly to say these photographs are the definitive voice of Blackness. Rather, amongst a vast, ever changing population, they are a small portion of the voices to be heard. However, to avoid curating a specific race narrative, we attempt to represent a diversity of individuals with a diversity of opinions across one of the world's most diverse cities, NYC. Occasionally, we get outside the five boroughs ...

 

I Have a Dream Speech - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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