I spent my entire childhood looking up at a white woman’s face and calling her Mom. Hugging her – admiring her red hair, loving and caring for her. Love is love. And as complex as my cross cultural, trans racial upbringing was, this fundamental truth does not change. Her death was no less painful, our mother/daughter dynamic was no less real.
I’m often called to speak on matters about race – when you run a company called Black&Sexy TV that’s a given. People want to know why, they are sometimes offended, other times unnerved, other times delighted, and amused. People have suggested that we change our name to be more palatable for those who would rather not have such a visceral reaction to us.
I’ve noticed that it is common for Black people as we start to deal with our identities to use color/race as part of our monikers. Many first email addresses had the words, brown – coco- chocolate- golden- bronze- caramel in them, and many first creative ventures also used this type of language – our own clever yet obvious ways of eking out our personas as we continued to further mold ourselves or grow something new.
Black and Sexy is a product of that and more succinctly an ode and homage to Dark&Lovely – the Black Pride of the 70’s – as we began to enjoy some of the freedoms not previously afforded to us. The reaction to our name is also a sort of litmus test – if it baffles or offends it reveals more about that person than anything else.
In a world where we are either highlighted in hostile propaganda agendas or made virtually invisible by those who wish we would just go away – Black&Sexy serves as a place of refuge. Our images, our way. Our stories as close to the skin as possible.
Photo by Taelor’d Existence Los Angeles CA 2014 for The Visibility Project