"What does it take for black women to feel fulfilled in a society that demands them to be superhuman?”
For the past 7 months, I’ve been essentially learning how to be a better version of myself. Through this, I’ve been trying to transfer my knowledge to older generations in an attempt to break generational curses. My Essential question is “What does it take for black women to feel fulfilled in a society that demands them to be superhuman.” Along with this question, I asked black women in my life their thoughts on “taboo” topics such as therapy, mental health, happiness, and cultural stigmas.
Each question that I asked throughout this process was designed to be thought-provoking and probing. I wanted the interviewees to feel as though this was a normal conversation. I think this is portrayed well throughout my product even if at times it was hard. I wanted to create this body of work because I felt like it had not been done before. Earlier in the year when I would search for documentaries regarding this issue, I struggled to find them. This made me realize that although we are living in a time that is very progressive, this topic is still very hard to talk about. Along with this, I also wanted to create something that could shift the minds of future generations. My vision for this project was for it to be empowering and educational while being equally entertaining. I also wanted to be able to show older generations that it is okay to stray from prior beliefs. I expect that my audience will learn something from my project and also enjoy the realness that lies within it as well. I think my audience's reactions will be ones of shock and enjoyment. My work relates close to my previous work as well because it tackles the question of how to ask effective questions. This is a topic my mentor and I spoke a lot about during our mentorship weeks. This body of work also relates to contemporary art and pop culture. We see campaigns on social media and on TV regarding this issue more and more as the years' progress. Audience members who watch TV and are avid members of social media will see my subtle references to these things in my documentary. Throughout this process, I’ve noticed that talking less and probing more are key techniques of a great interviewer. Participants who are less talkative need reassurance with probing questions. Other who are more comfortable may not need this and that is okay.
Overall, there is no solution to the black women's fight against mental health issues. There are a lot of cultural shifts that will need to take place in order for change to happen within our community. The conversations that I had in and outside of this project have reassured me that I am making a difference, even if it is small. Change doesn't happen overnight. Small steps turn into longer strides as long as you are persistent.