Saddi Khali’s RE-VISION
The Erotic Photographer Takes a New Look at Black Love
By black lily
From Baby Suggs Holy’s sermon in the novel, BELOVED ~ by Toni Morrison
“Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it…No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them! Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, you!”
Saddi Khali’s art matters. It matters because, as far as we may have traveled in our journey towards racial understanding, we still live in a nation that has been hoodwinked for centuries about who Black people are and how we love. It matters because, for decades, most of the photographic images of Black people reinforced oppressive misrepresentations of people of color as breeders, mammies, jezebels and sexual predators. It matters because - too often - the camera does not love Black people, it fetishizes us, pities us, looks upon us as exotic curiosities to be poked and prodded. Yes, the art of Saddi Khali’s matters because we still have a long, long way to go, y’all.
You may remember Khali for spitting fy-ah as an HBO Def Jam poet. The 36-year-old shutterbug creates art which acts as antidote to the toxic fallacies which still pollute so much of the subtext about race in this country. Khali’s art is about celebrating Black Love in all its’ forms; man and woman, parent and child, brother and brother. Sure, his photogasmic erotica hogs most of the attention. And, why not? His “grown folk” pics are graphically sexual, super-juicy and provocative, besides being just plain beautiful. BUT, the hand-fanning erotica is just one aspect of this thoughtful brother’s creative offerings, just one part of a whole.
READ more: http://www.hasmagazine.com/issue14 (Pages 20-23)