How Micaiah Carter, Andre D. Wagner and More Photographers Are Reimagining Black Visibility

4 months ago 27
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For too long, default images of American life—from stock photos to high-grossing films—have been perpetuating a racist ideal that protestors are currently out in the streets decrying. Now, a group of Black photographers that includes Micaiah Carter, Andre D. Wagner, Rahim Fortune and Miranda Barnes have formed a collective to try to shift that paradigm.

Photo: Kennedi CarterCourtesy of See in Black

"Historically, Black people have been on the receiving end of the camera lens as the subject matter. The gaze by which we were viewed was not ours. Now, it’s vital that we are narrators of how our stories are told and how we’re seen," reads See in Black's website, noting that the collective was formed partly as a response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Tony McDade, "and other Black people at the hands of law enforcement."

Photo: Melissa AlcenaCourtesy of See in Black

Launched on Juneteenth, See in Black's "Black in America" project is the collective's first attempt to uplift communities with the work of Black artists. "Through the sale of highly-curated prints from over 70 Black photographers, See In Black is raising funds that support five key pillars of Black advancement: civil rights, education/arts, intersectionality, community building, and criminal justice reform," the collective said in a statement.

Photo: Micaiah CarterCourtesy of See in Black

"I think it’s important to know that we exist. There are Black photographers all over the world who make images with care and nuance; who don’t objectify their communities," said Carter, adding, "I believe creating a collective will shift the viewpoint and perception of Black people in world that makes it so much harder for to just exist. These photos show an unbiased view of each photographer's world. But truly, the responsibility of making the industry better is on the gatekeepers who are privileged and need to recognize and support our work."

Photo: Jon HenryCourtesy of See in BlackPhoto: Ray SpearsCourtesy of See in Black

The sale will run from Juneteeth, June 19 to July 3, and 100% of profits will be donated to organizations including Know Your Rights Camp, the Youth Empowerment Project, the National Black Justice Coalition, Black Futures Lab, and The Bail Project.

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