Several months ago, photographer Bobby Rogers created a project celebrating the lives of people living at a particularly difficult intersection of identities — those who are both Black and Muslim.
Like the subjects in his photos, we all live at intersections of race, sexuality, gender identity, socioeconomic class, disability status, and more identities that shape our experiences.
Some of these intersecting identities hold power and privilege over others (i.e., a straight white cisgender man has a much easier life than a queer trans woman of color). Those of us living at the crossroads of multiple marginalized identities know that attempting to overcome that privilege, or even just live with its constant, suffocating presence, can be disheartening — which may be why this photo series is striking for so many.
The project was inspired by people using #BeingBlackAndMuslim on Twitter, Rogers said in the stream of tweets when he shared the images.
"There is an increasingly prejudicial connection being made between Blackness & Islam which fuels the erasure of Black Muslims in pop culture," he wrote. "Simply existing at the axis of
#BeingBlackandMuslim can be exhausting. You're always not enough. Always having to validate your existence."
Rogers has posted nine photos so far, accompanied with quotes about #BeingBlackAndMuslim, but plans to continue the project.
Check out his photo series here.