Centering Black Girls and Women:
We have always believed in the inherent value and liberatory potential of the perspectives of Black women and girls captured in writing, photography and film. We have been particularly inspired by “Design-Thinking”, a human-centered framework for solving problems that starts with deep curiosity about our own humanity. Black girls and women are rarely afforded the time and attention to dwell in curiosity about our identity, experiences, ideas, hopes, and dreams. But by starting with empathy for ourselves and other Black girls and women, we honor ourselves as worthy subjects, and we create the space to explore our unique, regular, fantastic, varied and quirky identities and experiences. Through using pens and lenses to explore and experiment, we discover deeper understandings of ourselves and create more space for truer renderings of the varied realities of Black women and girls.
Positioning ourselves as Image-Makers:
We define an IMAGE-MAKER as one who intentionally influences thoughtful depictions of people, places, and ideas with the expressed purpose of providing for an audience a more balanced and accurate perspective. Acting as Image-Makers, we influence Black girls and women to regard and experience ourselves as worthy, nuanced, brilliant, and beautiful. By bringing more Black girls and women into a legacy of activist image-making, we build our voice to thoughtfully add to the retinue of narratives that exist about us and our power to disrupt external and internal scripts that would cast us as disreputable or without value in this society. In pursuit of representational justice (as articulated by Black woman art historian and curator Sarah Lewis), we use the liberatory power of writing, photography and film to fully render the humanity and dignity of Black girls and women.
Positioning ourselves in Sisterhood:
We center ourselves using a Black feminist ethic of care rooted in love and justice. We take seriously the particular ways that black girls and women experience trauma and oppression in this society. TBP draws upon the long history of Black women acting as space-makers, healers, knowledge-producers, and radical way-makers. We engage each other in deep Sisterhood (as defined by our creed) and engage in consciousness-raising and intentional care practices that re-articulate Black women and girls beautiful, esteemed and worthy of care.
Using the approaches of Pen, Lens and Soul, we collectively build and utilize our voice and power to advance the representational justice and wellness of ourselves and other Black girls and women.
The LENS Approach operates as the photographic and curatorial force that ignites representational justice for black girls & women. The Lens supports the visibility of TBP’s efforts to cultivate and celebrate the voice and power of Black girls and women.
Through writing and reflective workshops, we facilitate thoughtful exploration and identification of Black girls & women’s voices in order that they may confidently take their place in influencing & informing the culture on the truest iterations of their representation.
The SOUL approach to programming and research is rooted in a Black feminist analysis of resilience and trauma, and a Black feminist ethic of care rooted in love and justice.