For years we shielded the inner workings of our story from the public at large. Winded by the nuanced aggression towards a space that intentionally focuses on black girls and women as humane citizens, much of our time was spent quietly working and re-working our methodology. We committed to walking with black girls, women, and their families all the while building our own. But our advisors, friends, and mentors challenged us to actively engage the world on a larger scale. This is a behind the scenes glimpse of our first encounter with the One Solution media crew that will forever be held in high esteem for the way they surrounded us and said “we will not do you harm.”
Why I Work is a web series by One Solution, sponsored by Wells Fargo featuring the personal stories of extraordinary African-Americans and the purpose that fuels their hard work. The series also aired exclusively on TV One and local Radio One stations and now lives on News One online. On a rainy day in May, a crew of producers and image makers descended on Durham, NC. We spent hours sharing personal stories about identity, pride, and discomfort. They asked me how I capture images, where I get inspired and what the process can look like in my day to day. Then suddenly the equipment was in place and the cameras were ready to roll. While their talent as a crew was clear, it was their care in capturing our story that stood out.
At The Beautiful Project we believe that making images through the lens and the pen takes depth and thoughtful boldness. The moments they took to get the shot right, to make the story clear, to push me—resonated with what TBP stands for as a community. To visually rep our commitment to black women, our friend Modupe allowed the crew to capture our Self-Care Exhibit photo shoot. And to rep the little girls we love, sweet Ahmadie hung tough in the rain as the crew captured our photo shoot.
In case you missed it you can check out the commercial below!
True thanks to you Detavio Samuels, Archie Bell, Sherina Florence, Jennifer Brown, Jonathan Yi, Marc Chenail, and Jon O’Hara!
Deep thanks to our friends at Frontline Solutions and Beyu Caffe for the generous use of their space, to the stars of the piece Modupe Edogun and Ahmadie (and Jasmine) Bowles, and to our dope connector from the Beautiful Community Dr. Bianca Williams for giving us Detavio.