‘Revisions of Us’ Hopes to Promote Unity By Amplifying the Voices of The African Diaspora.

Naima Atti, Revisions of US

Founded by Naima Atti, Revisions of Us is a growing endeavor that hopes to unite people of African descent from different backgrounds. Atti is an African immigrant, a student, and the president of the PAN AFRICA organization at the City University of New York LaGuardia College, where she also attends classes.

After first arriving to the United States, she first came to realize how misconceptions, mutual oppression and individual struggles can strain the relations between people of African descent. She hopes that Revisions of Us will provide a forum to promote unity and understanding.

“My aim with this project is to bring to light the journeys, struggles and experiences of Black people of the African Diaspora, says Atti. “Right here in the U.S. I strongly believe that it’s imperative to debunk the negative images of Black Americans and African people that are portrayed in global media.”

The Revisions of Us photo series puts names to faces and perspectives by featuring young black people from all backgrounds sharing their thoughts about anti-blackness, and the misconceptions surrounding the cultures that they come from.

Naima Atti, Revisions of US
Chavares Gay

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when a man compliments you by saying “you’re pretty for a black girl”?

“I usually hear that I’m a pretty “dark-skinned” woman, and I often feel that it’s not even a compliment. To me, I feel that my beauty is being limited, that if placed next to a woman of lighter skin or another race, that I wouldn’t be beautiful. This is something I have, and still do, struggle with. I’ve come across many men who prefer or would only be with a woman of fairer tone. It’s plaguing though. It’s a false idea of beauty; a lie Black communities were sold centuries ago. The problem isn’t just the perception of males. Black women, as mentioned before, often conform to men’s false warped perception of beauty: long straight hair, lighter skin, altered features. So while it upsets me that a man may give me a “degrading compliment” it saddens me that some men still believe that skin tone or hair texture or body type defines beauty. It’s ok for men to have preferences, but is that preference fed by prejudice?”

Naima Atti, Revisions of US

What’s the worst image you have ever received or at some point believed about your/people of your ethnic group?

“That we are poor, that we are uneducated and that we aren’t beautiful. We are golden, a true treasure, not just African but mankind. We have to delete this “color” thing from our mindset in order to have a progressive future. Now to continue on this topic, media is the main driving force behind this. P.S. please remember media is man made {think about that}.”

Naima Atti, Revisions of US
Ramelcy Uribe

Why is it hard for most Afro Hispanics to identify with their African ancestry?

“Anti-Blackness is so real” is what I constantly say when asked about Anti-Blackness and Latinidad. The answer is not simple because even Black Americans have their own struggles with accepting and celebrating their Blackness in the United States. It’s a difficult process of decolonialism we are all undergoing and struggling with. Latinxs have a painful history of colonialism and slavery in their countries. From the Dominican-American perspective, I feel like it is a trauma that we never fully healed from. We never really had collective nationwide or even cultural movements that pushed “Black is beautiful” or celebration of our African ancestry.

But I would also like to say that in Dominican culture, we have our own celebrations of Negritude that cannot be understood under an Amerikkkan or U.S.-centered lens. To understand the duality in which, yes, we are a part of Anti Blackness, yet love our Blackness in many ways, you have to adjust how you understand color, culture, and race in Dominican culture. From the way we love our brown skin, the African drums’ influence in our music to the way we move our hips, we celebrate our Blackness too just not in a way that is always visible to the outside eye.