I had the wonderful opportunity to have a studio visit with Frank151 International Magazine’s JJ Anderson to shoot for a segment on a woman’s right to choose and reproductive justice. It’s a privilege to have my paintings shown alongside the powerful and insightful interview with Nourbese Flint of Black Women for Wellness.
Words: JJ Anderson
In this episode of ‘Street Talk,’ I met up with the program manager at Black Women for Wellness, Nourbese Flint, to talk about some of the health, sex, and social issues that young women of color are facing in today’s society. Black Women for Wellness is a non-profit organization that is comprised of people from all walks of life; all of whom are committed to improving the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment, and advocacy. Located in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Leimert Park, Black Women for Wellness canvases the community on a regular basis in order to stay on top of prevalent issues and occurrences that concern the residents. This gathering of data has enabled BWWLA to build and create health programs, as well as implement public policies.
One of these programs includes Get Smart B4U Get Sexy, in which trained peer advocates work to shift attitudes on sex and sexuality through comprehensive sex and sexuality education. Through Get Smart B4U Get Sexy, BWWLA is able to connect with young women of color and provide a safe space for the girls to share their frustrations without being judged or looked down upon for not portraying media’s depiction of the “strong black woman.” Occurrences of sex trafficking amongst teenage girls, violent relationships, and the general lacking of reproductive health resources happen more frequent than not and are often ignored because of the neighborhoods of which they take place in. Recognizing the severity of these issues in underserved communities of California, BWWLA spoke to both local and state legislatures and was able to successfully update the sexual education curriculum as of January 2016.
Also featured in this segment is Los Angeles feminist artist Annie Chang (BFA California Sate University, Long Beach). Using texture, vivid colors, and brushstrokes, Annie’s work encompasses metaphors derived from vices such as sexuality, gender, addiction, and consumption. The large painting she is working on is her personal interpretation of “Vanity” from The Seven Deadly Sins. Annie explained that this piece is inspired by the female who is faced with contradictory dichotomies set by society, which try to bind her into a mold. Her paintings incorporate expressive abstract and representational imagery that deals with criticisms she expresses towards human nature. They are meant to provoke a visceral response from the viewer through a direct yet intimate confrontation.
Note: The end quote “Reproductive justice is not a label—it’s a mission” was taken from Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas and Kierra Johnson from their Beyond Choice: We Learned to Stop Labeling and Love Reproductive Justice article.
To learn more about Black Women for Wellness, the work they do and the very important policies they have helped to implement, go to www.bwwla.org.
We’ve had site contributors and collaborators, editorial interns and writers, but for the first time ever we’re featuring our first video columnist. Already a YouTube notable, JJ Anderson is our first ever on-the-street documentarian, taking footage of some of L.A.’s greatest and wackiest, featuring elements of weed life, street life, and so much more. JJ has worked alongside a variety of personalities like Evander Holyfield, Danny Trejo, and Ronda Rousey and continues to follow her knack in producing, hosting, and editing alongside friend and partner Tito Molina.