The Image of the Strong Black Woman
Hosted by No Hush & Msanii Hous Gallery, March 2022
In exploring the concept of the “strong black woman” or “strong independent black woman” I found that this is an image that is sometimes internalized by black women, the black community, and society as a whole. It is sometimes looked upon as a standard to strive for, while in other situations it can be an expectation that is hard to meet. Internalization of this stigma can often cause black women to neglect their health.
With this new awareness, I saw an opportunity to either project how I felt about the issue or explore the topic with people who looked like me in hopes of identifying a solution. I wanted to give black women the space to talk about strength. So I spoke to 27 women aged 5 to 76 about their experiences. What does it mean to be strong? Do we identify with this image the world has constructed? Do we have a solution if this image is detrimental to our health?
The solution we found were actions of vulnerability and self-care. The paintings portray a few of the women taking care of themselves.
Images by Big Hat Media