every month is black history month around here.
but each february, i highlight my favorite digital portraits i've done of black icons /
black moments / black art and what they mean to me.
check out the gallery below:
Out of gallery
aiyana jones was seven years old and asleep in her home when detroit police officer joseph weekly shot her in the head and killed her. i recently completed this portrait of her as a mural in cabbagetown, atlanta. i hold space in my heart and in my city for all of the little black girls hurt by the world.
rayshard brooks was 27 years old when atlanta police officer garrett rolfe shot him three times in the back and killed him. i recently completed this portrait of him as a mural in cabbagetown, atlanta. his face deserves to be seen throughout his city to empower his people and haunt the atlanta police department.
angela davis (1972)
this is a portrait i did of angela davis from her infamous prison interview from 1972. in this interview, she speaks on the difference between state-sanctioned violence against marginalized communities and the various (sometimes violent) ways in which those communities retaliate and survive. an important distinction, an important moment, an important woman.
stephanie & monica & audre lorde
this is a portrait i did of an image taken by sage sohier in 1987. the photo features a Black lesbian couple named stephanie & monica. i'm not sure which one is stephanie and which one is monica, but this image sticks with me. always. + after illustrating this photograph, i included some of my favorite words written by audre lorde on the beauty of women. her words are, "images of women flaming like torches adorn and define the borders of my journey, stand like dykes between me and the chaos. it is the images of women, kind and cruel, that lead me home."
oluwatoyin salau was 19 years old when she was brutally murdered. her death moved every single black girl and black woman who heard the news. within oluwatoyin and her story is a mirror she forever holds up to her sisters, but also to the world. the message is clear: no more violence against black girls.
cheryl dunye + the watermelon woman
this is my sofahood version of the film poster for 'the watermelon woman' (1996) by cheryl dunye (featured in image). as one of very few prominent films focusing on Black lesbian identity, both cheryl and 'the watermelon woman' are beacons of light in Black lesbian history.
george floyd was 46 years old when minneapolis police officer derek chauvin knelt on his neck for approximately nine minutes and killed him. george was a father and a human being with rights and deserving of respect. unfortunately, the officers involved (and the entirety of the policing and justice system) disagree. i created this portrait to memorialize george, not as a victim of brutality, but as a father to a young girl who must now navigate the world without him.
dykes against racism everywhere (d.a.r.e.)
my sofahood version of the famous photograph of dykes against racism everywhere (D.A.R.E.) protesting in an anti-kkk rally held in greensboro, north carolina, usa. dykes against racism everywhere was an organization based in new york city in the 1980's. their group name is self-explanatory--and brilliant.
this is an illustration by me of the women in the life vol. 2 no. 4 magazine cover for 1994 new york pride day. while this image has no visible faces, there is an immense amount of visibility within it: two black loudly lesbian women sharing community for all of us to see. i celebrate quiet moments like this because black history is not exclusive to brutality and death.