Renata Cherlise’s “Black Archives” photography book captures the vibrant history of Black Americans and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and sharing our cultural heritage. The book, which focuses on Cherlise’s family album, showcases a wide range of intimate and candid moments from the lives of Black Americans throughout history.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Charlie states, “It’s important for me to add to the narrative of Black people in America and to show that we’ve always existed beautifully, despite the trauma we’ve experienced.” Through her work, Cherlise aims to honor Black Americans’ resilience and strength while shedding light on their contributions to American culture and society.
The “Black Archives” book is a testament to the power of photography in preserving history and storytelling. As bell hooks, a feminist scholar and activist, writes in her book “Art on My Mind,” “The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is – it’s to imagine what is possible.” Through the art of photography, Cherlise imagines a world where Black history is celebrated and preserved and where future generations can learn from the struggles and triumphs of those who came before them.
In a time when preserving Black history is more crucial than ever, Cherlise’s “Black Archives” book is a powerful reminder of the impact and significance of Black culture in America. Her work challenges us to look beyond the narratives of oppression and struggle and see the beauty and resilience within the Black community.