The Bureau


Project Description:

The Blacker the Berry is inspired in part by the title of the 1929 novel by American author Wallace Thurman, associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Notably, The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York spanning the 1920s. This movement included new African-American cultural expressions and was considered to be a rebirth of African-American arts. 80 years later, long past the context of a Harlem Renaissance, Kendrick Lamar, the Compton rapper released a 2015 track titled “The Blacker the Berry” laced with lyrics that respond powerfully and emotionally to the ongoing race and violence issues in America. Lamar is known for rapping about loving yourself in a culture that degrades you. “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice,” was also used in Tupac Shakur’s “Keep Your Head Up” in 1993.

Set in the context of current culture and social tensions, The Blacker the Berry considers Blackness both historically and presently. Subjects are captured through intentional portraiture that evokes a cultural renaissance, asking the viewer to consider an artistic movement that celebrates Blackness in response to the racially-charged consciousness of America.

Creative Direciton, Art Direction, Fashion Design, Graphic Design,
Photography, Styling, Set Design, Digital Marketing

Creative Direction: Bobby Rogers
Photographer: Bobby Rogers
Cinematographer: Malanda Jean-Claude
PA: Desaré Cox, Fadumo Ali, Awa Mally
Models: Mark Anthony Flacko, Taoheed Bayo, MerSedies McCoy