…Translation of Pain, Assertion, and Self-Respect
the bitch. the sapphire. the angry black woman. these stereotypes have been wielded against black women and femmes for centuries to dismiss our dissent of systematic violence. time and time again, black women (and femme presenting black people who too have been attacked with the misogynistic, patriarchal, and racial crime) have expressed their rightful anger and mistreatment only to be labeled a threat, but only to such violent forces. anger has always been a tool for revolution, however, our own anger as black women and femmes have been ironically seen more oppressive than the oppressions that cause us to be angry.
in the photo series, as a black woman, i want to reclaim our anger. take back the dagger and put it to someone else’s neck. anger has been a righteous tool. anger has allowed us to be survivors in a system complacent in our deaths and brutality. we see rawness. protection. anger less performative than the standard “black bitch” (who is just as righteous), but still as potent.
inspired by the aesthetics of Rico Nasty and Grace Jones, and the work of Audre Lorde, we see black women and femmes with the strength of a thousand raging bulls. generations of fortitude expressed creatively. we see laughter, because it is a medicine to our own anger, however still a threat to our opposers, an act of resistance. a reclamation of anger means it is not a handicap, but a tool. As Audre Lorde quotes, “My anger has meant pain to me but it has also meant survival, and before I give it up I’m going to be sure that there is something at least as powerful to replace it on the road to clarity.” a collection of Philly based women and non-binary femmes come together to create a raw display of disregard for passive politics, to remind ourselves and the world that we will not waste the fuel to our fire. you may catch more flies with honey, but what the fuck do we need flies for?