The African American male is faced with a society that labels him before he is able to identify his own place within the diaspora. The common view is that Black America exists only in relation to White America; Black men exist only in relation to their white counterparts. This view, along with a “post-racial” multi-media brainwashing, leaves the Black man with little space to define himself. The Black man’s ever-evolving self-identification in America has been his longest battle. Slaves had to imagine themselves as Men in a world where they were told they were animals. Black men had to imagine themselves as citizens in a society that told them they didn’t deserve the same rights. Now we must imagine ourselves as Kings in the face of new Klans and as divine decedents of Gods in a mind of our own, that has been told that our physical reality is the only one that exists.
Photographed and written by Jordan Shanks