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“Being Black is not a matter of pigmentation – being Black is a reflection of a mental attitude.”
- Steve Bantu Biko, I Write What I Like, 1978
People of African descent reflect a multiplicity of skin tones and phenotypic characteristics. Often times, however, when met by people who self-identify as “Black,” but do not fit into a stereotypical model of Blackness, many of us not only question their identity, but challenge their Blackness, and thus our potential relationship to them. A creative presentation of historical documentation, personal memoirs, and portraiture, (1)ne Drop literally explores the “other” faces of Blackness – those who may not immediately be recognized, accepted, or embraced as “Black” in this visually racialized society. Through portrait documentaries (book and film), photography exhibitions, and public programming, the project intends to raise social awareness and spark community dialogue about the complexities of Blackness as both an identity and a lived reality.
(1)ne Drop seeks to challenge narrow, yet popular perceptions of what “Blackness” is and what “Blackness” looks like –- if we can recalibrate our lenses to see Blackness as a broader category of identity and experience, perhaps we will be able to see ourselves as part of a larger global community. In the end, (1)ne Drop hopes to awaken a long-overdue and much needed dialogue about racial identity and skin color politics.
(1)ne Drop needs your support! And every “drop” counts! Here are a few ways that you can help:
To date, (1)ne Drop has been largely self-funded. In 2010, Yaba Blay was awarded an Art & Change Grant by the Leeway Foundation through which she was able to initiate many of the project’s key components. However, in order to complete the project, we need your support. Please visit our Kickstarter campaign and pledge your donation today! We have until November 11 to raise at least $9000. We are offering a variety of incentives ranging from a public “thank you” on their website to a one-hour photoshoot with Noelle Théard. Please $upport!!!
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One of the goals of (1)ne Drop is to spark dialogue so, please, START TALKING! Tell your friends about our website. Tell your friends about our Kickstarter campaign. Encourage them to tell their friends. Blog. Report. Repost. Retweet. Please help us to spread the word.
Know someone who you think would be a great addition to the project? Let us know! We are particularly interested in connecting with:
someone (male or female) from South Africa who in that context would be considered “Coloured”
someone (male or female) from Brasil
a woman with albinism
At this time, interviews and portraiture are limited to individuals who live in the United States.
LEND YOUR VOICE
Does this project speak to you on a personal level? Agree? Disagree? Interested in sharing your thoughts and perspective? We would love to include your voice in our blog! Please send your essay/story to the producers at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. Essays/stories should be limited to 1000 words or less. Please also include a 1-2 sentence bio and (1) high-resolution photograph (at least 300 dpi).