Taken for Granted: Intelligence
Colored photograph of an African American woman with a white symbol painted on her arm. She wars a colorful head scarf with long black hair, earrings and blue and orange eye makeup. Bright orange background.
Markeyna Jefferson’s series of photographs, “Taken for Granted” is meant to create awareness and uplift the African American and Mexican American community in a positive light. Mexican and African Americans are taking back their heritage by not letting society define their culture for them. Jefferson seeks to capture portraits of people of color that bring them above the dehumanizing photography often found in social media, news outlets, movies and television shows, while connecting them to their ancestors.
"When you hear the words royalty or role model you most likely won’t visualize people of color. Why is that? Society labels black people as African American but no African history is included into the education system pre-college. Time and time again I find myself constantly being educated about Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks and Malcolm X but there’s so many other people of color that should be recognized in textbooks…”
“Capturing beautiful yet emotional portraits of people of color is just the surface. African American female photographer Carrie Mae Weems inspired me to photograph beyond the surface by connecting African culture through the use of colors, symbols, and prints to reflect African Americans taking back their African heritage and identity." -Markeyna Jefferson