Part 6 The Revolution: Celebrating Black Women’s Bodies
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Raven: "I celebrate Black womanhood because who better understands what it means to be black and a woman other than us? And if we don't value it, who will? Black womanhood is so monumental because we are dynamic; we are soft and hard, we are powerful and docile, we are leaders and supporters, we are the original, we are everything."
Alexis: "Black women are so uniquely beautiful. All different shapes, colors, personalities. Truly beauty personified."
Kalani & Anaiya: "When I look at myself in the mirror I see someone I can be proud of. It took me a long time to appreciate my body, to accept and be proud of the turns my life took, to lay comfortably in the bed that I made. But when you get to that point, a point of acceptance of who you are, there is no greater feeling of relief."
Martha (my mommy): "I am proud to be a Black woman because I'm truly a gift from God and a spiritual leader to run this race."
Kerin: "I am proud to be a black woman it is who I am. I am a Black woman and I love the skin I am in. Even though I haven’t always been able to say that, I do love that I have become more comfortable with my attributes as I get older and grow into myself. I am proud to be a Black woman because there are so many strong examples of women, ranging in so many beautiful shades who give me strength and motivation to be a better me."
Denni: "When I look at myself in the mirror I see my one-of-a-kind beautiful mind and the sum total of my triumphs, toil and tribulations. Best of all, I see my divine light and power—which guide me to love wholeheartedly and live courageously."
GG Renee and her daughters: "Raising brown-skinned daughters means filling them with love, knowledge and courage. It means giving them the spiritual foundation that I received as a child, but still empowering them to think for themselves and accept no limitations. It means helping them face their fears when they feel underestimated and overlooked. Teaching them that with hard work, creativity and education, they cannot be stopped. "
Charmayne: "When I look at myself in the mirror, I see an educated Black woman who is more confident and sure of herself than she's ever been in her life. I used the "less-classically beautiful" statement as an inspiration for this picture. This is the face of a confident Black woman who works hard every day to prove your 'less-classically beautiful' idiocy wrong."
Dejah: "I am proud to be a Black woman because I am the most hated yet loved being in the world. Black women are constantly shamed, ridiculed, over-sexualized and mimicked. Yet we are also the most beautiful, strong and creative souls I have ever known. I am honored to challenge society's idea of beauty one photo at a time."
Citizen T.S., fierce and fun.
Hermela: "Black women are beautiful, strong, compassionate, resilient, trustworthy, loving, peaceful, visionaries, artists, soulful, and powerful beyond measure. Whenever I felt the world was against me, it was always a Black woman who became the world for me, gave me her shoulders to cry on and made me feel at peace with her love."
Jasmin: "I love my body because it's mine and it's the only body I will ever have. I use yoga to maintain flexibility and strength, and stay toned. I hope that as I age my 30s feel better than 20s and my 40s feels better than my 30s."
Lindsay: "Black women are a testament of strength and fortitude. We are overcomers, builders, creators and lifters. Despite our struggles, our attitudes, our sassiness, and our baggage, there is also our brilliance. We are confident, and virtuous, emotional and filled. Haughty when necessary, yet, humble always. Black women are some of God's greatest gifts."
Dziko: "I am proud to be a Black woman because we are original, beautiful, intelligent, passionate, confident, and intuitive beings that contribute to so much in this world."
Cassandra: "I am proud to be a Black woman because I connect with the kinship. We are a source of strength, beauty and honor. My mother taught me that I could accomplish anything -- she instilled a faith and confidence that I appreciate and don't ever take for granted."
Niecy and Kayla: "Being a Black woman means embodying the spirit of those who are with you, those who came before you and those who will come after you. When we work at the salon, we interact with so many different, beautiful Black women, and we know that our sister and aunt Robin is looking down smiling. She's right there with us, like she was for so many Saturdays at the salon."
Me: "Black women are quirky. We're fun. Full of life. Able to kick back, let out a loud laugh and not take ourselves too seriously. We don't want to be your strong black woman, your video vixen, or your muse. This 'bad bitch is not your masterpiece'; she is the master."
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
In loving memory of Dr. Maya Angelou