‘The Mugshot Series’ Reverses Ugly Stereotypes Of Black Men
Artist EJ Brown is fed up with the media perpetuating damaging and destructive stereotypes of black men.
Specifically, the 25-year-old Point Park University graduate feels frustrated when the media places blame on black victims of police killings and refers to these men as thugs and criminals.
To combat those frequent misrepresentations, Brown created a powerful photo series that flips the narrative on its head.
The photo project is titled “The Mugshot Series,” and it includes seven black-and-white images of young black men dressed in cap and gown holding plaques that indicate their names, ages and academic majors. The project is part of a larger campaign Brown launched called “A Perception of Complexion.”
The striking photos mimic the style of criminal mugshots in order to juxtapose commonly-seen negative images of black men with more positive portraits that are rarely recognized. Brown hopes that mixture will deconstruct ugly stereotypes associated with black men and boys.
“We’re not condoning violence, or gang activity or criminality, we’re just bringing to light these negative perceptions and how we feel about them,” Brown told The Huffington Post. “I’m about spreading peace, love and understanding.”