Black men are burdened with many negative stereotypes that don't accurately represent who they are as a whole. This battle follows them as they come of age and realize they must work twice as hard to achieve success in a society that underestimates their brilliance.
Artist EJ Brown is flipping the script of these stereotypes with a photo project called "The Mugshot Series." The work is part of a campaign called Perception of Complexion that aims to undermine "bigotry that minorities and people of color face in our society," according its Facebook page.
In the photos, young Black men in college and recent graduates wearing graduation gowns and caps look into a camera and hold up boards reading their graduation date and field of study in the style of criminal mugshots. Brown recently told the Huffington Post that he wanted to change the damaging narrative of Black men and boys with the photo series.
“We’re not condoning violence, or gang activity or criminality, we’re just bringing to light these negative perceptions and how we feel about them," Brown said. "I’m about spreading peace, love and understanding."
See more of the images at Perception of Complexion.
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(Photo: Perception of Complexion via Tumblr)