Your disbelief in my experiences as a black woman hurts deeply. For some reason, you equate my blackness with the ability to feel no pain, but that’s not true. I feel it and just push through. Instead of not believing me, just walk alongside me and help me through it.
Your attempts to define me, ride me, ridicule and silence me have not worked. My mothers and fathers built the very nation that you inhabit, but with no pay, no recognition, no gratitude. Nevertheless, I will rise and stand firm. I am alive. I will not die by your hand. I refuse your characterizations and limitations. I will not evaporate. I will grow deep roots into tear soaked soil and I will remain.
I am not my skin, I am a soul that lives within.
We are your mothers, daughters, sisters, loves, and aunties who want to live freely without the fear of losing our loved ones or our own lives as a result of someones unreasonable fear, suspicion, or hatred.
on saturday 7.11.2020, sixteen black women joined documentary photographer raygen samone in a community art project that serves as a peaceful protest to honor, humanize and dignify the image of black women in minneapolis.
in remembrance of breonna taylor, raygen samone's ladies is phase two of a three part series. this day was full of laughter, honesty, wine, cocoa butter, and genuine smiles that - when framed - will change your life, too.
I am more than you think, stronger than you know and refuse to back down to fight when it comes to my community.
I am worthy of the love, respect, and kindness that I so often give to others without getting in return.
I care about our younger generation and I hope my story can help light the way for their journey.
We are hurting, but we will not give up. We will continue to fight and over come each challenge that comes our way.
dear black woman
"You are a force to be reckoned with. The world knows it and feels it the minute you enter a room."
"Do not ever water yourself down because the rest of the world isn't capable of indulging in your fierceness."
"Every moment you smile, speak, preach, and correct you are reaching the unsuspecting woman who needed to be touched by your confidence."
"Stereotypes don’t fit you and it’s not your job to teach the world how to love you. They need to teach themselves. "
"You are worthy."
"You are not disposable."
"You are essential and crucial to the healing of our people and our nation."
"Your value is not dependent upon your productivity."
"You are worth it."
"Pursue joy and laugh often; it's good for your soul."
"Use your pain to change the world in big and beautiful ways."
"Let's continue to lift each other up and support each other."
"Your strength and your voice is needed."
"There are stories to tell, children to birth, empires to build, brothers to love, books to write, songs to sing."
"Embracing all of you, Queen.”
-raygen samone's ladies | arielle, natalia, kaujah, shanell, laurel, rosemary, shanequa, aja, jamesha, nadine, leah, donna, shatera, nancy, tailana and traci