Image description: A Black woman with dark skin is laughing, with a wreath of red flowers in her hair. Text reads, “I am the expert in my own experience. No-one else knows what I need better than I do.”

Photo credit – Jessica Felicio, from the “Photos of my friends” series, found on Unsplash

I am so thrilled to share this collaboration between myself and one of the community members I work with.

In a recent narrative therapy conversation, the community member I was speaking with shared some moving words about why they’ve chosen to stay in their context and continue to showing up for community despite obstacles. We also spoke about the pressure on marginalized individuals to stay in hostile contexts and “be strong,” and about the need to support people in making the choice that is right for them, whether that choice is to stay or to leave a challenging context.

We turned some of their powerful words into affirming posters, with the hope that these might bring some comfort and validation to other marginalized people who are making choices about what to do with their lives!

The images were chosen to honour the wisdom of dark-skinned Black women, who are so often not listened to.

I am incredibly fortunate to work with the people who choose to consult with me, and all I can say is that we should all be so lucky as to hear the wisdom of Black women. What an honour to be allowed to listen, and then to share some of that wisdom.

Image description: A Black person with glasses is writing in a journal. Text reads, “I don’t run. My friends are all here, and I love my community. If they’re here for me, I’m here for them.”

Photo credit: LaShonda Delivuk, Eye for Ebony photography.

Image description: A person with brown skin and bright red hair is smiling and pointing to the sky. Text reads, “I deserve to be valued. “Being strong” is a huge issue in marginalized communities. We do not owe anyone our suffering.” 

Photo credit: LaShonda Delivuk, Eye for Ebony photography.

If any of these resonate for you, I’d love to hear about it and share your words back with the person who inspired and collaborated on the creation of these images.

We would also love if you wanted to share these images, if they resonate for you!

(I’m having a set of them printed up on glossy paper to bring to our next narrative session.)

EDITED TO ADD: After a conversation with a concerned community member, I have added photographer information and links to the images, and have remade one of the images to source an image from a Black photographer.