My brilliant writing group friend, Ms. S., an unwitting victim of my pen.
After reading the book Americanah by Chiminanda Ngozie Adizie, I was reintroduced to some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head. One of them came from poking around on Reddit. I forget the exact section /race? /African American? Those of you who like to poke through Reddit know how rich but infuriating that website can be. There was a question by a black woman who had noted that she had read a study about how in dating, white men preferred white, Hispanic and Asian women; black men preferred white, Hispanic and Asian women, and basically the big losers were Asian men and black women. She asked a question of incredible poignancy: Is it really true that nobody sees black women as attractive? This question made me want to cry. I think of the incredible individuality of the African-American women I know, their strength, their character, their humor, and their beauty. (Of course some people are jerks in any group, but since I don’t hang out with jerks, I don’t care.) It seems unbelievable to me that anyone should have to ask that ugly, ugly question, to have those self-doubts.
About a year ago, I made a vow to draw at least one picture a day. I usually draw them in my journal, but sometimes in art books, notebooks, whatever. I took photos of a bunch of the pictures and I thought I had more drawings that showed black women, but this is all I have for now. I draw people’s faces as often as I can. I am far from a professional artist, drawing is just a hobby, but one of the things I’ve noticed is that people’s faces are actually very, very similar. A big fat white man and a skinny black women both have eyes, noses, teeth, hair, etc. It is in small details that the differences come out. I love the individuality of the faces I see on the subway, when I get together with people I care about. I draw all kinds of people, but I wanted to share four illustrations of black women whose faces I loved drawing and observing. May they find love. May they be seen for the beauty that is their birthright as human beings.
This beautiful professor gave a lecture at the Jung Society.
Um, sorry, crappy photo of a beautiful human.
Woman on subway. I loved her braids.
Proper lady with great hat on a cold day. And bonus: Two beautiful black men.