Carrie Mae Weems b. 1953
Afro-Chic (2009)
Afro-Chic explores the construction of identity through the presentation of several women wearing exaggerated Afro hairstyles and sassy attire as they strut down an illuminated runway. The figures range in age and are both black and white reflecting the near universal, yet often repressed, desire to boldly express one’s inner beauty. A vintage poster of Angela Davis sporting her famous—and inspiring for many women of color—natural hairdo hangs behind the catwalk; a nod to her role in the formation of the concept that “black is beautiful.” Marvin Gaye’s electrifying song Sanctified Lady accompanies these self-possessed and empowered ladies during their moment in the spotlight.