I’ve been living a rather sheltered life. I was born on an island which is predominantly black. There are things which it lacks, like Whites looking down on Blacks, and extreme financial divides between social classes. To be honest I wouldn’t really say we have classes. There’s a general co-existence between everyone. Some might even say that everyone exist on a level which would be remiscient of the “middle class” in class-divided countries. So I never felt inferior to another race. I didn’t feel beautiful but I didn’t feel less than anyone due to the colour of my skin. My family includes persons of various shades. And each of us were treated the same.
However, as the world becomes more divided I’ve noted more and more people become lightere and lighter. My little brother’s experience is the climax for me. He comes home with stories of people telling him he’s dirty or that he’s ugly because he has very dark skin. I hadn’t realized that in our society people were so outrightly vocal about their dislike. He was still rather young when it began and I decide that I would do a project focusing on persons with darker skin, showing their beauty and renting billboards. The renting of billboards would be too expensive so I was searching for a better way that would get reach the widest audience in Antigua. I got sidetracked and the project lagged, and then I moved to Russia.
Today while I was on Facebook I saw a post by BBC in which a female Belgian news reporter spoke of her experience of people sending hate-filled messages about her skin tone. She isn’t as dark as my little brother. And that got me thinking about how he might be feeling, and how others like him might be feeling. There are many good role models like Viola Davis and younger ones too. But I want it is still not enough. So I’ve been inspired to go back to the drawing board and make that project come to fruition before the end of the year. I have an Antiguan photographer in mind, Chavel Thomas. I actually just bought his book tonight and the images he’s done shine through with the beauty I want portrayed. However, his book includes nudity that might not be accepted by a lot of peple and that was his focus.
I also considered doing it myself, but I’m not sure if I’d be the best person. I do have some training in photography. But that isn’t my forte. Additionally, Chavel has a following that could push the project if…when…it’s completed. And I consider that a really big plus. I don’t want to have to show my brother. I want it to be in his face. I want him to feel loved. I want the people around him to feel bombarded by image of beautiful dark skin models living life…beautifully.
Yeah. That’s it.