Black Love Power
New digital platform celebrates black love
Take a moment to search for images of Black couples, Black love, or Black people in general, and the results are certain to be underwhelming, to say the least. Commonly-used stock photos typically feature either flavorless caricatures of African American men, women, and children, or overly-stylized stereotypes of who and what we are in someone else’s imagination; quality images that depict the breadth and depth of Black life are few and far between. It was this dearth of meaningful, truthful representations of the Diasporan Black experience that inspired image activist and media pioneer Michaela Angela Davis and advertising executive and creative director Dabo Ché to create Black Love Power.com, a digital platform spotlighting the beauty and diversity of Black life and Black love.
Intended as a counterpoint to limited media portrayals of black culture, Black Love Power is an evolving collection of photographs that stand in stark contrast to the images long accepted as “the truth.”
“After years of looking at images of Black death, violence, and heart break, [we asked] what is this doing to us” Davis says. “There’s a particular kind of damage that happens when you’re left out and there’s over-exposure to violent images.”
Black Love Power serves as a direct response and opposition to this cavalcade of negative, demoralizing imagery, Che explains further.
The images featured on Black Love Power’s website and social media channels are meant to evoke the vibe and energy of an art gallery showing, but in a distinctively digital space. The photographs are curated through a network of photographers and artists, many of whom Davis and Ché worked with previously in their respective professions. As the platform grows, fans and followers will be able to submit their own images for possible inclusion in the galleries. Ché and Davis plan to extend the movement into offline events, including exhibits and parties. “We want to advance the conversation,” Che says. “The goal is to spread love.”
When choosing the name, Black Love Power, the partners reflected on the historic significance of Black pride and the various civil and social movements that grew out of such a simple yet radical idea. “Anything you say after ‘black’ has power. It’s energizing, powerful, and restorative,” Davis explains.
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