Editor’s note: The video above includes graphic content which may be disturbing to some viewers.
Akinbola Richardson, a 25-year-old graduate from Howard University released his latest work to culminate with the observance of Juneteenth.
The artist and actor who goes by Earl Saint X, said the holiday, which marks the end of the American Slave Trade, represents the embodiment of freedom.
“For those that don’t know this holiday, Juneteenth celebrates ‘the day the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.’ So this day means true freedom – and that’s what I want for our beloved Black Queens, Richardson said.”
Richardson said he was promoted to create the visual after a public unveiling of Queen Nefertiti reimagined the historical figure with Eurocentric features.
She looked white! And I mean white. The nose, the skin. Everything. And I was heated,” said Richardson. “Not only is the black woman being attacked from all sides but now you wanna take her history. Haha nahhhhh folk, you good!”
The 16 minute visual is littered with physical examples of negative imagery in the media, the Black woman’s pain emanating from physical violence, to the exoticizing of Black women’s bodies, “Save The Black: Queen” aims to strike conversations delving into the complexities of the Black woman’s experience in America.
“I want her to be able to live in a world where people are not trying to take pieces of her and use them for their benefit, Richardson said.
The video opens with a voiceover as a young Black girl listens intently until the screen goes black showing a group of young Black women engaged in a hypnotic dance.
Richardson used Mason Ramsey, an 11-year-old white boy who went viral while yodeling in Wal-Mart as the musical backdrop of the opening sequence.
“I wanted to give people an experience they wouldn’t expect. This way, their focus would be mine the entire way through,” the filmmaker said.
Kamasi Washington‘s “Truth,” closes the video, an ode to the historically Black art form of Jazz.
“Every other woman to me has the ability to just exist. But the black woman because of her energy, her presence and power is known the moment she walks in the room. Her presence demands your attention. But this power is also her curse because everyone wants a piece of her. Everyone wants to profit, to take and steal. This is why I Iove Black Woman because even after so many years of this, she still stands strong. There’s something godly about her. The fact she is still standing. Beautiful.”
Watch the whole video above.
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Howard University Graduate Releases Powerful Visual In Honor Of Juneteenth: ‘Save The Black: Queen’ was originally published on hellobeautiful.com