Accra Shepp (American, born 1962)
gelatin silver print
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund, 2015.18.2. © Accra Shepp
“One of the 99% – I want a fair chance to work, learn, and grow in the U.S. I helped to build.” The writing on Shadow’s dress references the layers of inequality that Black women, and Black people generally, continue to face in the United States in the twenty-first century. Continuing in the tradition of activists before them, the individuals featured in these photographs protested against inequality, not inherently racial, but social and economic. Both Shadow and Colette participated in the 2011 demonstration of Occupy Wall Street. Their presence at the protest reveals the intersectionality of experiences faced by Black women in American society. Not only do they seek justice due to their race and sexuality, but they also face socio-economic challenges. In this project, photographer Accra Shepp sought to capture the diversity of the participants and their dedicated energy by considering each protester as an individual. His work undermined prevailing narratives that characterized the Occupy Wall Street as overwhelmingly white.