A few months ago, during my first trip to Paris, I went to see the famed Mona Lisa. It was in a very large room with high ceilings. As we approached the painting that I've been hearing about since I was a child I could not help but notice how small it was. Behind a wooden divider with a female guard to both the left and right of it, was the Mona Lisa. Here I was, fresh off my first big chop, my hair parted like Huey Newton, bronzer glistening, my large hooped Gold bamboo earrings dangling with each step I made in this Parisian art museum and I wanted a photo with the painting of a White woman painted by a White artist Leonardo da Vinci. The reason was to quote one of my favorite rappers Jay Z from his song on Watch The Throne that reads 'If Picasso was alive he would have made her, that's right even Mona Lisa can't fade her.' My friend Joseph took the photo of Mona and I; I asked him if he would like a photo with her as well, he did not.
As we walked further, I could not help but to think 'Where are all the paintings of women who look like my friends and I?'. If and when I come across Black women in paintings or pieces of art in museums they are depicted in roles of servitude, slavery, or victims of their circumstance. There are artists who depict Black women in all of their natural glory but there simply is not enough representation of those works in museums. Black Women deserve all their stories told from the Queens of Africa to the women who shaped American and European culture, from the lawyers, doctors, to the little girls playing double dutch on a cracked pavement. We need to be preserved in oils, paints, charcoal, shattered pieces of glass and metal on canvases and in all mediums that hold our truths unapologetically and beautifully. In all our shades, our shapes, our differences, our experiences, our creativity, our resilience, there lies the tenacity within our souls that radiates a golden promise of prevailing against a European-centric standard of beauty; Black women are a work of art. -S.Filé : @thetimidlioness : @_myia : @stachahuis
Jewelry: @y.o.m.e.g.z & @stachahuis
Models: @ethiopiangoddess_ @_myia