The Black Girl Project is a growing movement that began as a film by Aiesha Turman, an educator and a filmmaker, amongst many other things. The film is a work of immense love that took her, and her small media company nearly three years to complete. Once completed, Aiesha realized that The Black Girl Project was much more than a film, but could be built into something more, so she received fiscal sponsorship from the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization in order to do more work surrounding the Black Girl Project, and thus, the BGP.org was born.
The mission of The Black Girl Project is to use the issues discussed in the film–Identity, Obstacles, Goals, Love & Sex, Family and the Media–to help build critical thinking, inspire dialogue and empower young women and girls.
We pursue our mission by screening the film and participating in dialogues post-showing, direct outreaches, workshops, symposia, and more.
We do this because Black women and girls are under siege within their own communities and society at-large. Not only are they more likely to contract HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), they are at high risk for physical and sexual assault, and death from curable/manageable ailments such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. They also are more likely to be incarcerated and victims of violent crime, including suicide.
Every day, popular media bombards Black females with the same old one-dimensional stereotypes failing to to be invested in presenting more complex personas. Their most visible form of cultural expression, music, tells them that it is OK to be objectified, and subjected to sexist idealogy and behavior.
We show and tell them that, through all that we do, that they are, indeed, their own project, and that they have the emotional and intellectual capacities to create the lives they desire and deserve.
Our ultimate goal is to effect change globally. It’s time to explore the lives of Black girls everywhere. Their stories, their voices deserve to be heard. The initial film was just the beginning. While the diversity in New York was a good way to begin exploring the lives of Black girls, we’ll be documenting the lives of Black girls across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia…wherever they are. Black women and girls are not a monolith.