“We are not who they paint us to be”: photographer highlights young Black rebels who refuse to be one-dimensional

December 28, 2017
171 Picks

In a world that encourages so many damaging stereotypes of Black people, it’s easy to get swept up into living out these flattened portrayals. It’s just as easy to build a life around trying to run away from them, especially the ideas the world paints as bad, such as “the angry Black woman” or the child from a broken home.

But, according to photographer Logan Delaney, both succumbing to these single faceted concepts of Black people and denying the parts of us that might be validly angry or broken prohibit us from being full people. That’s why he created “We are not who they paint us to be”, a photo series capturing young Black rebels who embrace their full selves, unapologetically. It’s okay to be angry sometimes, but that doesn’t have to define your entire existence.

“As a young black boy growing up in Los Angeles, CA the most important thing I learned was to have thick skin,” Delaney explained. “We all know how the black boy is portrayed throughout history: Angry, volatile, unintelligent, hypermasculine, lesser-than. In turn I fought hard for the right to express myself and to be unapologetically me. Through my photos, my goal is to give young creatives, especially black and brown boys and girls to follow their dreams and do whatever they want. I want to portray my subjects in a variety of different angles and emotions because we as black people are multifaceted and can do whatever we want.

“Now more than ever we deserve to be heard. We are not who they paint us to be. Our struggles, our hopes, our dreams, and our intricacies matter. Our lives matter. I intend to give us a voice.”

Check out “We are not who they paint us to be” below!:

Model: Jessica Marie
IG: Jessiridescent

Model: Stevan Bell-Nixon

Model: Mika Zhane
Ig: mikazhane

Model: Brianna King

Model: Jerrod LaRue
IG: W3tter