About This Work
The inspiration for my piece comes from my identity as a Black woman and my support of other Black women. My goal is to vocalize and capture the unique struggles and experiences of Black women, having been born as women and racialized as Black as they navigate a society that dispenses compassion to them on a conditional and often rare basis. My video is a single manifestation of that goal and aims to demonstrate how this unique struggle of Black women is magnified and worsened by aspects of pop culture. Specifically, the video analyzes how entertainment and the mainstream media normalize the sexual exploitation of Black women, thus contributing to the continued trivialization of their plight. The proclaimed iconic kiss scene between Black actress Nichelle Nichols and white actor William Shatner from Star Trek: The Original Series frames the argument presented in the video, serving as the primary example of sexual exploitation and vilification. I believe visuals are able to communicate messages that words cannot always convey; the formality and literary regulations of an essay can sometimes inhibit conviction and a video was the best means of conveying my earnestness about this subject. I want the audience to feel my earnestness in order to understand the severity of the issue, and an essay cannot always do that. I hope that being able to see and view for yourself the examples of sexual exploitation makes the issue more paramount, and compels one to reconsider the content they consume and how this may affect how they view Black women in real life.
About the Author
Leah Mallory is a freshman at Fordham University at Lincoln Center interested in Journalism. She is from a quiet suburb in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and enjoys the rush and liveliness of New York City. The inspiration for Leah’s piece comes from her identity as a Black woman and her support of other Black women.