Totally neglected to post these photos from our trip to Kenya back in January (whoops).
Good news: we are opening a temporary exhibition from that expedition in late August, and will be (hopefully! fingers crossed!) hosting a meetup and discussion to talk about our experience sometime in early September! More deets to come. There will be lots of bats.
Photos from Nairobi National Park:
Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
Impala, matching up (Aepyceros melampus), interrupted by a nosy warthog (Phacochoerus africanus).
Last night as I watched Lupita Nyong’o approach the red carpet, her mother, father, and brother in tow, I was enchanted into silence. There she stood - skin black like ours, hair tightly coiled like ours, wearing a headband on her flat top in a ‘Nairobi blue’ gown. In that moment I saw a new image of a princess (however problematic that imagery is in and of itself). Later, I watched through tearful eyes, as that princess’ fairytale, and ours, came true. WE won.
Much conversation today about Lupita’s win, what it means, and what it should mean. Does “Hollywood” finally see us? Will Lupita’s success open the mainstream gates for dark-skinned Black women everywhere? Has the game changed? Interesting and valid questions. My questions, however, continue to be turned inwards, towards the WE who won. Do WE finally see us?
I see Lupita every day. I see her as often on the streets of Philadelphia as I do on the streets of Accra. I see her in my classroom. I see her at the corner store. I see her at the mall. I see her everywhere.
And so do you. Only you don’t know it. If it took the media’s fixation on Lupita’s Otherness to introduce you to the beauty of dark skin, then you don’t know what you’re seeing when you look at dark-skinned women. Or maybe you don’t even see us.