This looks promising.
I’m missing my Mommy especially hard these days. Grief has a way of knocking the wind out of you. It’s made me feel inadequate, and broken, and unworthy. Completely irrational, of course. I wish I had a story of valor after losing my mother, but some days it’s just hard. I know this will pass.
As a student in the 1970s, Deborah Willis came to the realization that images of black beauty, female and male, simply did not exist in the larger culture. Determined to redress this imbalance, Willis examined everything from vintage ladies’ journals to black newspapers, and started what would become a lifelong quest. With more than two hundred arresting images, many previously unpublished, Posing Beauty recovers a world many never knew existed. Historical subjects such as Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker illuminate the past; Angela Davis and Muhammad Ali take us to the civil rights era; Denzel Washington, Lil’ Kim, and Michelle Obama celebrate the present. Featuring the works of more than one hundred photographers, including Carl van Vechten, Eve Arnold, Lee Friedlander, and Carrie Mae Weems, Willis’s book not only celebrates the lives of the famous but also captures the barber shop, the bodybuilding contest, and prom night. Posing Beauty challenges our most fundamental assumptions about what it means to be “beautiful.”
242 duotone photographs; 40 pages of five-color photographs.
If this exhibit comes to your city, please do yourself a favor and check it out. I’m going to check it again before it leaves our city.