My name is Nitashia Johnson and I’m a photographer based in Dallas, Texas. For the last year, I’ve been working on a book about Self Love for Women of Color. The project was created to combat the harsh stereotypes associated with the black community. When I started experimenting with the project, I had originally planned only to photograph women with natural hair. As it progressed, I felt that it would be vital to include written content and allow the women to express themselves and give their opinions and experiences on topics such as colorism, self-love, and racism. I’d like to share with you an excerpt from Tylah’s story:
While I was a leasing consultant in 2015, I decided to wear my hair curly since I was transitioning*, so I put my hair in a roller set Sunday night to prepare for work on Monday. When Monday morning came and I took the rollers out and it looked great. I finished my morning routine and started my day. I only had to wear this style a few days which was, just days before I was scheduled to get a hair install Thursday. My birthday was that Friday and I wanted to prepare for it the day before. At the time I was working with two other women in the office.
One was a Caucasian woman who worked as my property manager. The other was a bi-racial Caucasian and African American woman who worked as the assistant manager. When I walked into the office on Monday I was greeted by both of my co-workers with compliments on the outcome of my hair roller set. I said thank you and went on to perform my daily duties. For the following day, I’ll admit, I didn’t set my hair the night before but the curls were well intact. Again, I was greeted with compliments on my hair. That evening, I went home and reset my curls. On Wednesday morning, I wasn’t greeted by my co-workers. Instead, I was called into a staff meeting. I had no idea what was going on, but I soon realized the two women were sitting in front of me to discuss the company’s “POLICY ON GROOMING”.
I have started a campaign with IndieGoGo that will launch November 20th, to get the book in the hands of many women across the country who have ever been through similar stories. The fundraiser is only being used to produce the books and keep this project alive. This book is the first of a series. I plan to extend this book to include stories of our brothers who find themselves in the same situations. I hope this can be relatable to each and every one of you in any way.
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About the creative:
My name is Nitashia Johnson I graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in 2008 and went on to become 2012 alumni of Texas Woman’s University with a BFA in Design Communication. I am an independent designer who loves to collaborate with fellow artists. I have an unwavering passion for design and photography. I’m an alumni of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Art + Design Education program at the Rhode Island School of Design. While working as a designer I’m working towards developing a community-based media arts program for High School teens in the inner city. I strongly believe that the key to the success of any business or organization is good design and great communication.