WE WALK TALL
This work is a proclamation and response to the dramatic social upheaval that impacted me and other women of color immediately following the United States presidential election on November 8th, 2016. In the first few uneasy days that followed the election, a chain of events led to this work. Conversations with a close friend regarding threats to women’s rights and the onslaught of hate crimes, a timely radio airing of “Walk Tall” by Cannonball Adderley featuring Jesse Jackson, and a dinner party with friends who took solace in the fact that, “at least [they] were white" compelled me to have women of color be seen, heard, and not shy away in uncertain times.
These portraits reference the strength of pose, lighting, and color palette often used in 19th-century presidential portraits. The surnames and prefixes as to what "type" of American these women are have been removed to represent ethnic neutrality and coequality. The American flag that each of these women is wrapped in is the burial flag my Jewish American grandfather was honored with for his service during World War II fighting to preserve freedom and equality.
This series celebrates and honors a new generation of American women of color who are proud, want their voices heard, and choose to walk tall.