This Black Woman Will Not Die Exhausted

By Adrienne Christian 


It’s a dangerous idea to some, that a Black woman could lead a life of leisure. 


That she could not work outside the home, that she could be kept. That she could spend her morning sunning herself on a rock beside a river. 


Imagine this flamboyance. This Black woman will not die exhausted. 


It’s an important idea to us, that women like this do exist.


That we experience fatness. That we come draped in gold, and robes. 


Imagine us flush. This Black woman will not die exhausted. The color orange —


it’s associated with fun; happiness, health; balance, fascination, joy; change. That


she could be these. That we could be these. 


Imagine this. Unexhausted. 


It is not


that she is showing off. She is showing herself so her sisters can see what some may think un-


imaginable. A Black woman Orange.

Of these works, poet and photographer, Adrienne Christian states:

My writing and photography exist as a contender in the fight against the suppression and distortion of our stories. By “our” I mean people of color. When it comes to narratives about us, too often the same stories are solicited and spread–stories of poverty and trauma–which do little to showcase people of color beyond the problems we sometimes face. 

Because of this troubling lack of diversity in the kinds of stories published about people of color, my writing and images seek to share our nondominant narratives– ones of love, work, family, friendship, joy, wellness, beauty, and deep travel. By writing about and photographing people of color as multifaceted individuals who have complex, rich inner and outer lives, I undermine the one-dimensional caricatures and stereotypes commonly associated with us, which can function as a major antidote to racism, and heal the wounds it has caused. 

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