Let's Address It
Racism is a quiet, incessant beast. And while publicly volatile remarks and actions justifiably create the most outrage, it is the covert ones that have allowed racism to endure. They're the prejudiced actions masked in social niceties and premeditated policies. Those actions are called racial microaggressions.
First used in 1970 by Harvard psychiatrist Chester Pierce, microaggressions are much like loopholes to racism—easier to get away with because the lines of intention are blurred. They include but are not limited to, hiring discrimination, marketing of eurocentric beauty standards, respectability politics, and tone policing. Microaggressions aid in creating an environment in which BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) feel unsafe to be themselves.
The illustrations below (inspired by type design and posters of the late 60s and 70s) were once sketches, created three years ago after experiencing triggering circumstances while working in a predominantly white environment. Because microaggressions are still in play today, this work still holds weight. As a creative, my hope is that these pieces spark uncomfortable conversations that lead to acknowledged behaviors.