‘Black Kings Rising’ for equality and empowerment

The on-going discussions about race and equality taking place across the world have not been lost on the Caribbean, where our experiences stem from hundreds of years of enslavement and colonial rule.

Digital marketer Joel Nomdarkham

The lack of economic, social and political parity has pervaded many spaces of power and influence resulting in the exclusion of many voices and the disenfranchisement of even more. Hence, movements like Black Lives Matter have become increasingly popular, and necessary.

In recognition of today, June 30, being World Social Media Day, and the ongoing conversations about race, equality and the celebration of differences, digital marketer Joel Nomdarkham curated a series of images celebrating blackness.

Denar Brown, social media strategist and Black Kings Rising participant.
(Photo: Jik Reuben)

Stemming from photos of himself on LinkedIn, which gained traction on the networking platform, the venture expanded to include numerous creatives – responding to a single tweet – who reached out to lend their voices and visages to the project.

“We wanted to take the discussion home and highlight the fact that in our society where some men have failed to rise up, there are others who are charting the way towards building better families and fostering positivity,” Nomdarkham said.

YouTuber and social media personality Russhaine ‘Dutty Berry’ Berry

The Jamaican brought together 23 men across various industries to portray the project’s ethos, the growth of men of African descent, under the tenet #BlackKingsRising.

Nomdarkham said, “We got a studio for the day and did two different variations of photos. One highlighted strength (portraits) and the other was a lifestyle shoot (to bring out our personalities).” 

General practitioner and recording artiste, Dr Mario Guthrie

Each participant was also required to share an impactful line on camera for what ‘Black Kings Rising’ means to them, he said, adding that other men are being encouraged to join the conversation using the hastag #BlackKingsRising on social media.

Below are our BUZZ picks from the project:

Project Leads:

Digital Curator: Joel Nomdarkham

Creative Photographers: Jik-Reuben Pringle, Keon Predi and Jayson Tucker 

Filmmaker: Shaquiel Brooks

Graphic Designers: Akeem Goulbourne and Jason Barnett 

Social Media Strategist: Denar Brown 

MUA: Paul March