Photographs of pretty babies make my heart flutter—those juicy cheeks, those sweet lips, those lovely eyes. It’s as if the lens captured the very essence of the angels.
Thing is, finding those delicious pictures of African American babies is hard. Too hard. I can remember having hours-long sessions in the photo departments of publications where I worked, begging and pleading with photo editors to be authentic with their choices—to understand that there is a difference between black children who look “other,” and black children who look like mine—chocolate skin, corn rows, thick lips, big brown eyes and all. On a few occasions, my daughters were even imported into the photo studio for shots that would ultimately end up illustrating the pages of magazines where I worked because, apparently, finding a picture of a dark-skinned black girl with pig tails proved elusive.
I didn’t get it then, but I do now, especially since I run my own blog about raising black kids. So when I see a photographer who goes out of his or her way to seek out and photograph the essence of black baby beauty, I want to A) hug him; B) thank him and C) celebrate him.
Which brings me to my friend, Erskine Isaac. Over the past year or so, he has taken his camera into his hand and single-handedly painted my world with MyBrownBaby beauty. Every day is a new gift—of chocolate babies frolicking in watering hoses on Harlem street corners, hugging their puppies, in the loving embrace of mothers and fathers who love their children strong. With his camera, Erskine sees what we see, even if magazines, newspapers and websites refuse to: the beauty of us.
I am so pleased to share a few of Erskine’s images here on MyBrownBaby. I’ll be pinning each of them to my MyBrownBaby Pinterest Board, my own testimony to the fact that beautiful pictures of African American children do exist. I invite you to support Erskine by reveling in his artistry, checking out his website at Www.ivisionphoto.com, and reaching out to him via his contact page if you’d like pictures of your babies that weren’t taken with your iPhone. *Yup. I’m looking at you.*
1. The Attack Against Black Girl Beauty
2. Black & Proud: How I Teach My Children to Love Their African-American Heritage
3. What Tough Girls Are Made Of
4. Loving My Milkshake & My Pearls: A #Flawless12 Celebration Of My Physical Self
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.