photo series tackles the psychological trauma inflicted on black men by white supremacy

February 28, 2017

‘Abolished’ is a photography project by artist Ejatu Shaw that examines the ways in which black men cope with the psychological trauma they experience from living in a predominately white society that frequently sees the mistreatment of people of color. Shaw theorizes that when many black men have trouble processing these traumatic images of racism and violence, they turn inward and self-isolate, instead of seeking help or talking to people close to them about what they’re experiencing. ‘Abolished’ aims to visualize this isolation and call attention to the neglected mental health of black men. “To abolish is also to ‘do away with’ and we must not abandon the Black Man,” Shaw tells AFROPUNK. “I hope that this work brings awareness to these themes of institutional racism, and its effect on the mental health of black men, but also encourages the Black Man to break away from his social exclusion and open up about the problems that he faces.” Check it out, below.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

Model: @raptum_

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at