I am someone who has spent a vast amount of time in countries where being a minority race is faced with negativity and racism, I have also spent a vast amount of time in countries where you are faced with Xenophobia. Having experienced both, I spent a lot of time trying to prove that i am not those stereotypes or misconceptions. As much as its a tedious and sometimes futile task to do, It important for me to show that there is more to my race than stereotypes or there is more to my country than its negative representation.
Even though I don't have the experience of being black in a predominantly white or other racial group, I know what it means to feel inferior for being the only kid in glasses, the only skinny one, the effeminate one etc. Empathy is lacking because of lack of representation. If there's that, people will be forced to look through the lens of individuals that may have never been considered.
I have come across many instances and I think what we didn’t realize is that our acceptance of this word “black,” was and continues to be our ultimate weakness, and as a result we are viewed worldwide as nothing more than the spineless, soul forsaken, helpless . I believe in change and it takes only our voices to make a difference.
I'm a teacher and some years back , I had a student in my class who was from Australia and before she went back to Australia she told me She was glad to be here ( in Ghana)and it's nothing like what she was told/the pictures she had in mind about Ghana.
An experience that moved me as an Afro descendant was reading the autobiography of Assata Shakur, a former black panther and revolutionary activist. She explained so eloquently the black experience through her life's journey that made me aware of the problems we're up against and the systems in place to keep us oppressed.
My mission is to capture the complexities, hopes and everyday realities of Africans and people of African descent; to produce content that helps to demystify the "dark continent"
I believe a man cannot just rise up to be great on his own without any help from his fellow kin. I believe everyone can make a difference if they come together and agree.
A couple of decades ago I visited a place in eastern Europe where I felt like a curious attraction. The attention was not hostile, and people were mostly kind but they could not hide their surprise, and wondering eyes followed me everywhere, accompanied sometimes with honking cars on the street. I wonder if nowadays it would be the same. I hope not, with social media and the world being much more connected. This is why visibility matters, the more black people are seen around the world, in the remotest corners, the more likely we are to be comfortable and feel “normal” wherever we go.
As a celebrated artist from East Africa with great notoriety and a strong social media presence, I come across people in my comment session who question my descent/background especially from 'westerners'. What sometimes looks like a compliment but a stab to my pride as an African. " You look very handsome or fine, are you a black American? " My issue with this is, must I be black American to be look handsome?? It is very stereotypical, that is why I accepted to be a part of a movement that champions such a course.
Learning of the grand achievements of my ancestors in the areas of science, arts and culture prior to an education steeped in white supremacy that taught me otherwise was an exceptionally touching period of my afro-discovery era. As a creative African, I am advancing the heritage of my ancestry using poetry, authored works and blog posts. This is also to exhibit what we are capable of and to inspire others to do same.
How the society is promoting sexualism... Moved me to become an activist. Society encourages the female folks to embrace certain body looks and look down upon other body types. Our society applauds conformity rather than individuality
The American incident whereby a police officer shot a black American in his car and infront of his friends and relatives when he had not resisted arrest.
Seeing many Africans living out the continent tracing their way back home to experience what mother Africa has for them. #yearofreturn
a friend of mine once told me she rarely felt beautiful growing up because of her skin color. She was dark skinned and unfortunately in this imperfect world there exists something called colorism among black people where lighter complexion is considered more beautiful than dark skinned people and that really can destroy someones self esteem especially that of young women and girls so i decided to change that narrative and show people that everyone is beautiful and that diversity is what adds to the beauty.
It will definitely have to be the movie, Black Panther. Nothing can beat the beautiful description of Africa through Wakanda. Though it may not be real, I believe it strived to put Africa on the map and change the overall outlook of our wonderful continent from the mode of dressing, to the language, culture, and our way of life. It gave the afro-descendants a sense of identity and pride that is un-matched and made Africans feel they are stronger than they think they are.
I’ve grown up reading History of Black african man and women as a failures and seeing it through the society and media they portray only Negativity and hode the truth. But I’ve realized that Everyone has Equal chances in success regardless Background, race, or religion. I’m Gonna use my Platform to make the difference. We are smart, Talented and Beautiful People. #representationmatters #ImAVisualActivist
It is important for the world to recognize that without the African community the whole world at Large will suffer economically
Over the years we've had African stories being told by people for whom it is not a reality. We've seen over glorification and in some instances under reporting of the said stories. This has pushed me towards championing for the stories to be told as is, by someone living in the eye of the storm and not from the sidelines looking in
I may not have an experience but been part of this movement is a step in changing the normal. I’m within circles that focuses in bridging the gap and changing the mindsets of the African youth, is another step for change.
The notion that 'everything BLACK is evil' Black is never evil. Black is a gift given us by our creator. Black has power. Black is a weapon. It's about time we clear that notion that 'Black is evil' it is sad but this is what our forefathers believed and even 'we' this generation still accept this lie. We need to uphold ourselves as black and see how powerful we are. Through photography and writings, I would enlighten us on THE VALUE IN BEING BLACK.
The colonization of Africa by the Europeans polluted the African heritage. The African history has been through the eyes of the Europeans making Africans lose their cultural roots. We have been programmed into blindly adopting a religion, a political system paradigm that we cease to grow.
well I can't say I am melanated but my wife is African, and I do this for her, she is a professional photographer right now mostly weddings and such and in the industry, I do see how difficult it can be.
We are beautiful,well developed, not at the level of other countries but we have so much more to behold and visual representation should show the whole world how rich we are in culture and resources.
Funny thing the recent #VogueChallenge that was rather very controversial moved me because I got to see so much talent from the continent. It really amazed me to see all the work that mainstream magazines are missing out on because of their narrow perspective of talent on the continent
An experience that moved me as an Afro-Descendant would have to be when I was living in Tanzania for a time and my Tanzanian friends would call me "dada" which means sister in Swahili and would remind me that Africa is my home too, despite the fact that I didn't grow up there and that even if I didn't know where exactly I came from, I could always call their country home because they're my family. I definitely stand for #RepresentationMatters, but I don't have a platform to amplify the voices of those who need representation. I do my best by sharing informative posts, videos, and such but the small following I have are those with similar mindsets to mine. Therefore, I feel my influence is limited.
le regard sur votre couleur de peau, sur votre afro parfois, des propos désobligeant du genre: "hé tu peut fair l'accent africain" ou tu dois être une tigresse au lit.
Everyday life as a Black South African woman moves me to do better and be better. Most importantly I am reminded that I deserve better.
During an interview for a fellowship the interviewer was shocked that I spoke English so fluently and asked how I would react if a host pointed that out during my stay. I informed her that the world has revolved, we study in Africa and much as we love our languages ,we have to communicate to the rest of world so we have to learn different languages.
When I first moved to the US, I initially minimized the racial divide. Then, it gave me the opportunity to look into who I am as a person. It wasn't a struggle but just an affirmation of who I am. I never want to apologize for being black, beautiful, strong, intelligent and powerful. I use that power to fix the crowns of the kings and queens in my life, regardless of their background because representation matters.
I really get upset every time I am asked the question; are these truly made in Kenya or did you just download this on the Internet.
When I was looked down at work because i studied in Ghana.It was actually a motivation to encourage myself and other young ones not to look down upon our educational system.
In 2013, Ismailya Faye, a Senegalese young muslim guy, was killed in a bus station in Rabat, by a racist moroccan. He was here from a pilgrimage. This event, made me try to understand what happened there and also be more interested on the migration subject.
The black man who saved a baby from a storey building and was later awarded French citizenship. It takes an exceptional deed for people to recognize a black person and inadvertently the rest of the world accepts that we are exceptional. It is up to us to prove it.
The first thing to join this movement due to the presence of racism and lack of human rights in different organizations worldwide. The starting from the ground such as favouritism. So i will put my effort by using social networks, place of meeting, job areas etc to present this issue by educating and implementing the program in pratical way.
one of the best experiences that moved me as an afro-descendant is the power to access and acquire knowledge and experience of my Origin and understand my culture better to a level that I can stand up as an African and define my self.
We were driving and my son pointed out a guy driving a very fancy sports car. He said "Daddy, that guy looks like Uncle Roy...i mean its not an old white guy" - he articulated what I had been struggling with, that even we though we have a great constitution in South Africa...the majority of our people from black or mixed heritage are still ignored and misrepresented here, our achievements, contested heritage, spaces and people are not recognised. #RepresentationMatters
My experience is rather family related. My younger brother who migrated to the United States in 2017 to get his degree gave me an oomph feeling when he was made to represent his school at an annual interstate technology fair in his first year. It felt so elating especially to the fact that e has never had any travel experience prior to that. This move boosted my confidence and inspired me to create an organisation called Brand1000 to develop world standard brand identity to perfectly represent the aspirations and talents of entrepreneurs in Africa.
I was especially moved when i got no help to even study the basics of design , being tossed around and used but still nothing . I had to make the step to get where i am now even though i'm no where near my goal but at least the step was made and with that anyone who comes my way i give my all to help them to stand on something.
As an Afro-Descendent, I want to amplify the voices of melanated women's voices. I want to tell their stories and encourage them to be brave and tell their own stories on digital platforms. My goal is to create safe spaces for women and girls to start finding their voices.
I recently started a talk session called The Influencers Talks and it has shown me that "We are voices of change not an echo". We need to amplify our voices to be heard to cancel all the misconceptions and represent ourselves very well with our own narratives!
"I can't breath". The statement of George F made me to have the feeling the world needs people with more conscience and character. And that every life matters and Black Lives Matter
Personally, I haven't had any experience but when I watch the news and read history and see how we've been unequally represented, it makes me want to do something about it! Projecting afro-descendant talents to the world will greatly help us equally represented!
i have my own little hashtag #NotOnOurWatch which is my [and others] daily commitment to interrupt racism wherever we see it - online and off - and so i am absolutely loving this space that amplifies black and hopefully coloured and indian and other groups that call Africa home. i have learned that i cannot self-identify as an ally because it means nothing coming from me - my words and actions and thoughts have to show to others that i see them and am fighting for them and want to make the world better for them. i try to use my platforms to raise the issues and host many conversations [predominantly on Facebook or YouTube] around race and privilege and inviting white people to do and be better. #RepresentationMatters for sure!
My first time in the USA I was asked where I am from. I said Gabon the lady ask me Japan ?! Very confused I said no Gabon. When then asked me if it was next to Mexico. This made me realize at what point we have to keep educating people and not assume they know everything. Since this time I decided to always advocate for Africans around me to break any stereotypes.
Since my childhood times as I grew many are the times I was put to silent whenever I heard something important to add in a conversation that really mattered, because I didn't have a stable family and nothing really made sense in my life at that time, until one time I met one person who believed in me, gave to me a listening ear and change how I used to think everyone See's me.
I am from Kenya and i have to witness discrimination on a different level. with us it's different; it involves power amongst masses on the basis of ethnicity and identity. it is unfair because, at some point, the hope of becoming someone amongst the growing dynasties dims out. truth is, it is not about black or white. it is bigger. it is about power. we need to decide who is worthy of wielding it.
Working in a multicultural team, I realized that indeed we are capable of achieving and doing and being so much more once our mindset is right. For this reason, I decided to setup an organization called “The New African Mind” which is focused on transforming the mindset of the next generation African.
I enrolled on the Central Leadership Program amd we had a session where we learnt about the Transatlantic trade and slavery plus colonialism. I got my mind opened up that indirectly we are part of our own problems and we need to come together to make things right. We have socialized ourselves so much with our problems so much that we don't see them. We need to start being the change we want to see.
I was moved when I realised,through books, magazines and upon inquisitive research, that people who looked like me had undertook great career paths I was dreaming of. my reality wasn't questioned anymore, because my dreams had been validated through the legacy that I too CAN. I mostly recommend talents who are thriving in their fields to aid they might need.
I lived in South Korea up until last year and I always felt like I had something to prove as a black person. like, because of all the stereotypes and misunderstanding or lack of it. I was always try to prove that ...something like, black people are smart too, they are not naive or dumb. and they are people just like you. we love, we feel and cry and laugh just just you if not more.
Children learn by picking up what is presented to them by society. The influence on our society in certain aspects by Westernization has in turn polluted our children. We forget what matters, we have forgotten the true meaning of education, skillset, beauty, and we are losing our touch with nature and our traditions. We are living by other people's philosophies. Living in Turkey I see how mixed emotions and curious the locals are towards our kind. If we want our children and their children to be conscious then Representation matters. Represent who you truly are and use diversity to do that.
From a very young age I was bothered about the wrong perception of Africa. I decided to use my phography skills to capture Africans and african landscape and landmarks in a way that i feel represent us best. To showcase our beauty, faces , who and where we are in an authentic way. I also work with Pichastock which stood for the same cause to advance the same objective to the mainstream world.
Actually I don't have a life experience but the blacks mindset is the one that moved me in. Am a model, some pictures am taking can have a visual explanation
As a Rwandan born individual there are many misconceptions about my country and my people. Yet only a westernized hegemonic idea of the state exists and not the story from the people.
Living in India for the last two years has changed my perception of so many things!! It’s very challenging and I have sometimes found myself uprooting so many misconception and believes!! I got to attend one of the largest religious event in the world with 150 million people ! To experience that kind of energy and spirituality has been one of the most rewarding thing in my life !!
Seeing the world come together as one, united against Racism. Theres no better time to represent who, what and values that best describes us.
As currently the world is facing main two disasters racism and COVID-19. Me as a content creator did some creations mostly targeting low life people against the Pandemic and also on Racism created some speaking images of blinded racism that is still occuring without our understanding.
The visual presentation was breathing and I knew I had to be apart of it and share my story. My hope is that this moves and offers an opportunity for Black people to Unite without boundaries.
I am always happy to see Africans learn languages from other countries in Africa, better yet when it is a foreigner taking the time to learn and speak the local language.
Lots of lots of photographs out there pose the African child as hopeless and in dire need. That's not entirely true but it wouldn't matter if there were other photographs out there showing the beauty of the African culture at large and not only as savages. The availability of these two facts(in form of photographs) is the truth.
I cannot think of something in particular but overall, having to be very cautious about everything I do like helping a kid that just fell or is crying; being refused a job opportunity, being laughed at or people being scared just because of my complexion.
Seeing a lot of less privileged girls become a burden on the society breaks me, therefore I decided to try and change the narratives by helping them get a source of income in any possible way I can.
I had an incident where I got connected to a white client from another white friend of mine. We started off well then at a point I put my picture on my profile and sent a message to him. He responded by saying he is not comfortable working with a black person and that he also can't trust me with his business. I lost the contract because am black.
It irked me whenever I watched the news, commercials or saw ads online concerning countries in Africa, they portrayed poverty, struggle and suffering. Yes, I believe that we are lacking in some parts, but at the same time, we have lots of beautiful and modern places and cities. Which is why we as individuals need to change this backwards narrative!
It was during an exchange program where I heard the honest thoughts and misconceptions that some of the members had in that group. It may not be some of their faults but the media/channels in which they got the news from is what has fed them the lies, and this is happening worldwide. If we don't tell our stories the right way, most misconceptions will never fade.
At the university, an accountancy teacher, of North African origin said that he wouldn’t answer our questions because in any case "the blacks cannot understand".
Having parents of foreign nationality, I was told that I couldn’t benefit from a scholarship which was offered to the poorest of whom I was a member, despite my good academic results and my young age. Moreover my mother was refused a post in a hospital because of her nationality.
As a creative person, I really got moved when I was I search of stock photos of blacks for various project and couldn't get much and most photos u see of us are photos depicting poverty, weakness, absurd living which really hot me as a creative to help rectify that.
I'm using my voice as a #RepresentationMatters ally to to help other melanated people to use their voice and stand for themselves and let us all push the VisualActivist.Me a gender.
I had an incident where I got connected to a client who's white from a friend of mine who's white, we started off well then at a point I put my picture on profile and sent a message after saying he's not comfortable working with a black person. He can't trust me with his business. Lost the contract also.
With my experience living in the UK and globetrotting to other parts of Europe, I believe "supporting their own" remains adamant and this is one thing missing in the African context or within the black community. This I strongly believe is the basis on which most Africans feel discriminated against and refer to as racist moves. Until the African builds strongly on this and supports his/her own irrespectively, the world shall just be a footstool to the black race.
Being at a Model United Nations largely populated by Asians and few Europeans and fewer Africans, I saw how they looked at me, different but they embraced it with time. They had so much questions and sought to confirm from me what they heard in the media about how Africa really looks like. They saw Africa like a country than a continent and it was a good chance to retell the African story, the African way
Growing up, I didn't see many females who looked like me in the media I was exposed to. I remember playing in my parents bedroom one day, I must have been about 4 or 5 years old, standing in front of the mirror and covering myself in baby powder to make my skin white while playing make-believe. Because that was what I wanted to be because that was what movies, cartoons and even picture books said leading ladies looked like. I work at PICHA now, dedicated to #representationmatters so that other girls can look in the mirror and see themselves as heroines, princesses, adventuresses and pioneering engineers. Just as they are. Curly haired. Bushy haired. All shades of beautiful. Because they have seen proof of this in the media they consume.
I realised how diverse life was when I moved to Kenya back in 2012, I left everything at home other than my surname. I made so many friends quick and no one ever thought of me as not one of them until I had to give both names at certain events and I’d be asked which tribe Tusiime was from. I always responded passive aggressively and asked if my origin was necessary and how that information would help.
I schooled in China and constantly my skin was referenced on the streets of China. It got to me mentally and almost affected by identity. After graduating and leaving, I’ve learnt to constantly update my knowledge of blackness, how to fend off racist and derogatory comments. As a journalist I’m constantly discussing these topics and writing about them
Lorsque j'étais plus jeune et à la recherche d'un emploi, on ne s'attendait pas toujours à ce que je dois Noire car mon nom ne le laissait pas forcément deviner. J'ai eu pour motifs de refus après l'entretien d'embauche que "j'allais m'ennuyer dans le poste concerné" (sachant que j'avais moi-même fait la démarche de postuler) ou encore, que mon CV (sur lequel la photo n'est pas obligatoire en France) "ne correspondait pas au profil recherché" (alors que j'avais été convoquée à l'entretien d'embauche sur la base de ce même CV). Tout cela m'a amenée à penser que ce sont eux qui perdaient au change et non moi.
The movement is important to me because I am a black African woman that would like to see fellow black women living their best lives and achieving their highest goals. I want black women to be inspired the way I've been inspired by women in my family to be confident, strong willed and ready to put in the work to achieve their wildest dreams. I am part of this Visual Activist Campaign with hopes of adding value and making a change while we amplify melanated voices by sharing their stories.
We all come from different countries but it's fun to see that we have so much in common, despite the differences.
We need mental weaponry. Enlightenment (education) is key and the only effective way Africa and the world can become a better place. Thus, I’m currently working on my podcast DAM - Diverse African Minds to help push the agenda for my Africans and all. I also do my best to present Ghana—my motherland in the best light in my art as well. I’m impatient with my actions now yet patient with results. I’m trying to experience balance and maintain it.
I am #representationmatters ally by helping amplifying melanated voices through my photography work. Documenting of African people and culture is what I do on a daily. Working with PICHA has given me the opportunity of shooting African stock images. Through PICHA African photographers are presented with the opportunity to contribute to the library. By showcasing work that represents us. Images that push boundaries and misconceptions about Africa.
I have always been fascinated about the 'Black Star' in the Ghanaian national flag which is translated to represent 'Hope for Africa' because it gave me the opportunity to reprogram my mind and explore the absolutely unique possibility of a star being black. Think about it for a second; how does a black star shine? Is that even possible? (perhaps is a question for a limited or racially-biased conditioned mind). I believe that one day we will wake up to the realization that the colour of darkness is not black and the colour of light is not white, and we will be ashamed of the wide gaps we have created in society because of the needless negativity that has been carefully and systematically curated and associated over time with my #Black and #African race.
An experience that moved me as an afro-descendent is when I did the Put Foot Rally through the 6 Southern African countries (from South Africa through Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and back into South Africa) in 2012. To see so many people wanting to explore their continent, people and cultures before the rest of the world ment so much to me. I think that it is so important for people to understand where they come from and for us to experience what goes on in our own country and in our bordering countries to truly understand who we are and how we fit in as Africans. I am a #RepresentationMatters ally an I am amplifying melanated voices by photographing real African people and documenting their stories by submitting them to Pichastock. It is important for me to be a part of telling the real and raw story of all Africans so that people around the world can see what Africa and Africans are really like.
The recent news cycle has really affected me and ignited in me a sense of responsibility. Our society needs to be more inclusive and as a visual creator, it is my responsibility to highlight all positive aspects of our communities through visuals. #Iamavisualactivist. #representationmatters is not just a hashtag. The way we perceive ourselves and the way others perceive us is often linked to how the media portray us.