rePresent exhibit showcases beauty of Black men, women

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the pictures on display at One Daytona are reframing the conversation. “Sometimes I don’t think that people realize that beauty really exists all around you,” LaToya Carey said. “It’s a photography exhibit featuring the beauty of African Americans right here in our local community.”Carey and her husband James are the team behind the rePresent exhibit. “We wanted to change the narrative by which African Americans have been disseminated through mainstream media, so what we want to do is re-present, to re-introduce, a positive image,” James Carey said.He felt it was necessary after he says he found many negative images of Black men during an internet search. “It just meant they showed us incarcerated, selling or using narcotics,” James Carey said. “So, it hurts us so that when we get in job interviews, when we walk down the street, those negative images are now reflected us.”While the project was born out of a stereotype of Black men, it also features Black women like Jill Arlaud. “I used to straighten my hair a lot because I didn’t see models or actresses that were having their curls out,” Arlaud said.Her curls were on display in a picture called “A bridge divided.”The picture represents the Orange Avenue Bridge’s separation of Daytona Beach’s traditionally Black and mostly white neighborhoods. As a biracial woman, for Arlaud it also represents another bridge with the young girls who met her at the exhibit.”I’m glad the younger girls who look like me can have something or someone to look up to and kind of see themselves and feel okay however they want to express themselves whether it’s with their hair, their style,” Arlaud said.”I really like that you focus on the average, everyday person — someone you might see at the grocery store or, you know, just walking around town and so forth,” WESH 2’s Sheldon Dutes told the Careys. “Any individual that has come in here, most of them have said, ‘I know that person.’ So that image now, the value of it just increased. It’s not just a beautiful picture, it’s not just an impactful story but there’s more of a connection because I actually know that individual,” LaToya Carey said.The exhibit features sculptures and artifacts that capture African history before slavery and stories of Black men and women showing their everyday excellence. Those stories include the Black ballerina challenging industry body norms and Volusia County’s first Black female firefighter. While their pictures draw you in, it’s their stories that challenge the stereotypes.”Come learn, get a feel. Again, become culturally diverse, find out more about who we really are because we’re not just limited to the stereotypical imagery that’s out there about us,” LaToya Carey said.“We want to now have a movement started. We want this to be able to pop up in other communities. Because it will begin to lift community pride within itself,” James Carey said.To learn more about the Careys and the rePresent photography exhibition, click here.Click here to nominate a CommUNITY Champion in your life

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the pictures on display at One Daytona are reframing the conversation.

“Sometimes I don’t think that people realize that beauty really exists all around you,” LaToya Carey said. “It’s a photography exhibit featuring the beauty of African Americans right here in our local community.”

Carey and her husband James are the team behind the rePresent exhibit.

“We wanted to change the narrative by which African Americans have been disseminated through mainstream media, so what we want to do is re-present, to re-introduce, a positive image,” James Carey said.

He felt it was necessary after he says he found many negative images of Black men during an internet search.

“It just meant they showed us incarcerated, selling or using narcotics,” James Carey said. “So, it hurts us so that when we get in job interviews, when we walk down the street, those negative images are now reflected us.”

While the project was born out of a stereotype of Black men, it also features Black women like Jill Arlaud.

“I used to straighten my hair a lot because I didn’t see models or actresses that were having their curls out,” Arlaud said.

Her curls were on display in a picture called “A bridge divided.”

The picture represents the Orange Avenue Bridge’s separation of Daytona Beach’s traditionally Black and mostly white neighborhoods.

As a biracial woman, for Arlaud it also represents another bridge with the young girls who met her at the exhibit.

“I’m glad the younger girls who look like me can have something or someone to look up to and kind of see themselves and feel okay however they want to express themselves whether it’s with their hair, their style,” Arlaud said.

“I really like that you focus on the average, everyday person — someone you might see at the grocery store or, you know, just walking around town and so forth,” WESH 2’s Sheldon Dutes told the Careys.

“Any individual that has come in here, most of them have said, ‘I know that person.’ So that image now, the value of it just increased. It’s not just a beautiful picture, it’s not just an impactful story but there’s more of a connection because I actually know that individual,” LaToya Carey said.

The exhibit features sculptures and artifacts that capture African history before slavery and stories of Black men and women showing their everyday excellence.

Those stories include the Black ballerina challenging industry body norms and Volusia County’s first Black female firefighter.

While their pictures draw you in, it’s their stories that challenge the stereotypes.

“Come learn, get a feel. Again, become culturally diverse, find out more about who we really are because we’re not just limited to the stereotypical imagery that’s out there about us,” LaToya Carey said.

“We want to now have a movement started. We want this to be able to pop up in other communities. Because it will begin to lift community pride within itself,” James Carey said.

To learn more about the Careys and the rePresent photography exhibition, click here.

Click here to nominate a CommUNITY Champion in your life

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By Betty C. Giordano

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