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Seeing Butterflies

61 Black Women Give Testimonies for ‘A Seat at the Table’ with Solange

Black Women in Entertainment

61 Black Women Give Testimonies for ‘A Seat at the Table’ with Solange

Have you seen Testimonies from the Table’s photographs of 61 black women and read what they have to say about their lives yet?

Before musician Solange’s performance at New York’s Guggenheim, Pakistani photographer Seher Sikandar was asked to create a conceptual project to do with Solange and her audience — giving rise to the idea of a scrapbook of testimonies, much like the scrapbooks we made and filled in for friends at the end of years in school. So Sikandar called 61 black women to her apartment in Brooklyn, took Polaroids of each woman, and glued them onto the pages of a book, asking them to write what they wanted next to them.

All at the same time, the stories are lovely, painful, encouraging, and terrifying to read. For instance:

“Every day I carry the extreme weight of needing to be fierce and the held together Black Superwoman. I need to carry and care for my family, protect and uplift my community, excel in my profession, and look great while doing it all,” says 38-year…

Please read original article – 61 Black Women Give Testimonies for ‘A Seat at the Table’ with Solange


I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

Flying High

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