Eyes of the Beholder

Black people have dreams, they’re forward thinking, they work hard, they’re ambitious. Reflected in the eyes are the hopes and dreams of the ancestors realized.  

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

A symbol of beauty, identity, and often social politics, black hair carries much weight. From natural hair discrimination to unfounded stereotypes about locs, this incredibly personal element of culture has been forced into public contention. In this image, a woman pushes her locs back with manicured hands. Her lips are painted in bright red contrast to the neutral palette of warm golds that she wears. In direct defiance of white depictions of black and natural hair as “dirty” or “unprofessional,” she wears her hair with undeniable dignity and grace.

Amir Leung-Tat, Eyes of the Beholder, 2020. Digital Photograph. ©Amir Leung-Tat. All rights reserved.

Amir Leung-Tat

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Ubuntu is a exhibition of the photography of Amir Leung-Tat. An interpretation of the Nguni term which means "I am because we are" and associated African philosophy which promotes the interconnectedness of humanity, Leung-Tat's work represents a poignant exploration of the vast totality of the black experience through the eyes of an artist coming of age. Shot during his time in Keyna, as well as during the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Boston, MA, his work captures the enduring connections and similarities that override geographical differences. Despite the forced separation of Black bodies from their homeland, there is a vibrant energy and resolve to overcome obstacles and a singularity of spirit that remains connected across time and space.

Other work from Ubuntu