Fighting for Equallity
Growing up in left-winged California around so many different cultures and people has somewhat shielded me from the bigotry and racism that still happens today. With the current politically charged climate and hate crimes happening all around us, racism in America has become alarmingly apparent. I am shocked and ashamed that in 2017 this is still happening in my country. After the most recent attack in Charlottesville we wanted to use our platform to stand up to violence and racism. I choose to peacefully make a protest against hate using what tools I have, artwork and photography. Dazey firmly believes in equality for all and wants to give marginalized women (and men) their power back.
After the recent attacks my Facebook has been filled to the brim with articles and comments on the matter, but one status stood out to me in particular. A friend of mine, Gleeven (@afro.vogue), posted a status saying how heartbroken she was and how she didn't feel like her friends and family were safe in her own country. That really hit a cord with me. There is zero difference between Gleeven and I, and yet she fears for her life just because of her skin tone? It made me feel even more upset, I had to do something! By chance she reached out to me that same day asking to shoot. We had been trying to shoot for awhile and toyed with the idea of a protest-style shoot before, but now the timing was perfect. She helped me come up with some great signage, grabbed her gal pals, and we took to the streets!
Gleeven is a model, stylist, influencer, and huge advocate for racial equality. She has incredible creative vision and a strong voice. She wanted to go for a very 60's style shoot which I thought was appropriate because it was in this era that people had to fight for their cilvil rights. I could not think of a more perfect person to collaborate with on such an important shoot. Below you can see the photos as well as some amazing words of wisdom from Gee herself in an open letter.
"I believe one of the most important first steps is realizing that when an issue affects any group, it affects the entire country. Many people go through their daily lives with a privileged perspective, ignoring issues that don’t affect them directly. They don’t speak out on injustices or bat an eyelash on plaguing issues simply because they are not suffering from these problems. If we start to become allies and speak out on behalf of one another in solidarity, I infer that we will start to see changes for the better." -Gee via galore
"The United States is seeing hate crimes at an alarming rate. Black men are losing their lives because of the belief that their life is not worth as much as yours. Are you that filled with hatred that you would rather see another man slain than to change your heart." -Gee
"This country was founded on the belief that all men are created equal. If so, why do you perpetuate an idea that in order for this country to thrive, we must rid ourselves of minority groups..in particular; the blacks. Are we not all equal? It took leadership like Martin Luther King's to shape this country. Was he not as important as his white counterparts?" -Gee
"I was birthed by an incredible black woman, Davreen McBeth, who taught me the importance of self love and I hope to serve as a reminder for black women across the globe that black is strong, beautiful and resilient." -Gee via Galore
"I implore you to look into your heart and try to empathize with minority groups that fear for their lives because of the agenda you fuel. Imagine yourself in their shoes. How would it feel being hated for things you couldn't control like your skin color? Would you think America is great? How can you help to combat the racial injustices in this country?" - Gee