New Black Stereotype:
What do you see?
Black men are all players, they're terrible fathers and most definitely dabble in drugs. Who came up with these stereotypes? And, more importantly, why is society still categorising us like this? It was so eloquently phrased by Marquelle Turner earlier this summer...
The goal of the project is to use imagery to 'create new stereotypes,' paint new pictures of the black man and highlight the diversity and strength of black men.
I want to show more positive imagery, style and flavours of black people, to break these stereotypes. I want to show that we are out here, every day, contributing and making a difference.
We are a group of men I am proud to call my brothers, British, in different shades of black, with roots in Grenada, Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana, Dominica, Trinidad, Antigua and Zambia. Men who are fathers, husbands-to-be, bachelors and friends. Men who are lawyers, accountants, journalists, creatives and businesspeople.
The New Stereotype movement kicked off in New York this summer when Marquelle gathered his friends to promote images of black men that are not often seen. The concept was simple, and the pictures were striking.
At a time where we have more control over our media than ever, with our social streams and inboxes overflowing, I felt it was the perfect response to the negative images of black men, who are perpetuated by the powers that be. Images so ingrained in the fabric of society we readily accept and in some cases peddle it ourselves.
London is keeping the baton of New Stereotypes moving
New York may have started off this much-desired movement, but now London is keeping the baton of New Stereotypes moving . On a sunny autumn morning in Greenwich, South East London, we set up a shoot around the Maritime Museum. We kicked about topics from current affairs to relationships to what we were now calling New 'Black' Stereotype meant to us. For me, it was just great bringing different friends together and seeing how everyone instantly meshed, formed new friendships and networked all in the name of New ‘Black’ Stereotype.
A group of men flawlessly dressed in their Sunday best, a cameraman in tow. We are hard to miss. We were approached and complimented for our attire on a number of occasions, by a range of people, from American exchange students to a middle-aged couple soaking up the sun shouting out, "You all look beautiful!"
The New Black Stereotype does just that; it points out that it's up to us to make sure our diversity and depth is hard to miss in the public discourse about black men. Just as my brother across the pond inspired me, I hope we can inspire you, and you will inspire others. In order to truly create a new stereotype, there must be frequency and consistency.
Together we can change the images.
So… what do you see?
Members: Aaron Sylvester (@mrslyvester) Abdul Yusufu (@freethoughtism) Kofi Bempah (@kofstar79), Richard Okusaga (@richardokus12) James Ankobia (@jkofibean),Richard Etienne (@rettyuk) Sebastian Thiel (@sebastianthiel) Dines (@studio_blup)
Photos by: Thai Hibbert @thaimatic