powerful new publication series combats stereotypes to uplift poc

February 13, 2018
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Since 2015, Nitashia Johnson has known her mission is to uplift Black women. “While working and living as a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design,” Johnson explained, “the misrepresentation of Black women became more evident to me than ever before.”

After graduating, Johnson began to notice this misrepresentation outside of the design world, especially in degrading memes that were widely shared across social media. “When I would see degrading memes online about women of color, I would share them on my Facebook page with context in order to explain the underlying damage they caused,” Johnson said. “Soon, I was convinced by a colleague I studied with at the Rhode Island School of Design to tackle the negative connotations by creating popular representations of Black women and Black culture in general through my experimentation with art, design, and photography.”

So in 2016, Johnson came up with the idea for The Self Publication, a series designed to uplift women and men of color. The project was created to combat the harsh stereotypes associated with the Black community. “The outcomes of colorism and racism have crippled the culture in a plethora of ways, and certain methods put in place to pollute it still exists currently,” Johnson said. “This first publication highlights the personal stories of 14 women.”

But in order to make it a reality, the artist is raising funds to bring it to print. You can support the empowering series here, and check out images from it below!