Everyday Blackness:

Celebrating Exceptional Women

Everyday Blackness: Celebrating Exceptional Women is my new art documentary photography book, a  series of 25 portraits of  Black women with supporting quotes and text. The women are of  diverse ages and backgrounds, who defy stereotypes, forge unique paths and are exemplars of courage, tenacity, and resilience. Their roles include author, educator, entrepreneur, doctor, attorney – and more. This work dispels any reason to fear the "other” and reminds us that we are all connected on a deeper level, having more in common than not. These photos and stories offer upliftment, insight, and inspiration. 

Purchase the book here!

First Complete Exhibit!

On View: February 4 - May 22, 2022

Visual Arts Center of NJ

68 Elm St, Summit, NJ

Currently on view in VACNJ’s Marité and Joe Robinson Strolling Gallery I, the exhibition is made up of portraits of twenty-five women and features quotations from, and brief biographies of, each sitter. Beginning in June 2020, Kumar interviewed and photographed twenty-five Black women in the New Jersey area to showcase their collective courage and resilience. Responding to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests, as well as the global COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey-based photographer, wanted to document and share the vast goodness she observed in this group of women — goodness that prevailed over the pain people were feeling.

Through networking and research, Kumar identified women leading ordinary, everyday lives, who were also exceptional in their own ways. Ranging in age from 19 to 86, they represent a broad array of professions and experiences, including author, educator, entrepreneur, activist, CEO, doctor, disability advocate, attorney, environmentalist, and student. Acknowledging the individual challenges they face, Kumar also observed a common thread binding the group together—selflessness and commitment to service that makes them the backbones of their families, communities, and country. She sums it up in the preface to her book Everyday Blackness: Celebrating Exceptional Women “In a world that continues to marginalize and judge people based on physical appearances, these unwitting heroines persevere for the greater good.

2021 Book Launch & Virtual Reception

Please click here to view a video recording of the Virtual Reception held on March 7, 2021! Over 80 people from across the US, Canada, England and Denmark attended for a joyful and inspiring discussion! Moderated by Dr. April Robinson, 14 of the 25 women from the book were also there to share their perspectives and experiences! They walked right off the pages!

Past Exhibits Featuring the Project

Since releasing this work in February 2021, I'm grateful that 14 exhibits across the US have featured select images from my portrait  series as part of their juried online exhibits. Please see below to view my images in the context of the various fitting exhibit themes.

The Time is Yours... Continued   Gravy Studio, Philadelphia, PA

The Time is Yours   Philadelphia 2020 Photo Fest, Cherry St Pier, Philadelphia, PA

Unprecedented: Art Responds to 2020   View Center for Arts & Culture, Old Forge, NY

Art Against Racism Online exhibit, based in Princeton, NJ

By and About Women The Regional Center for Women in the Arts, West Chester, PA

Black Visuals Collective (Black Superwoman Chronicles) Online exhibit

2020 Vision: Seeing Ourselves Through Challenging Times Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CA

Elevate Webster Arts, St. Louis, MI

Wreck-oning Cade Art Gallery, Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD

Celebrating Black History Through Photography 4H organization based in central NJ

Black History Month Juried Exhibition Hammond Gallery, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL

Celebrating Harlem Renaissance! Medford Arts Center, Medford, NJ

If Not Now, When? Gallery 18, The Riverdale Y, The Bronx, NY

HerStory Online exhibit, based in NY

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