Microaggressions are notoriously difficult to call out because they are discreet, they are usually embedded into conversations and they may be intended as compliments or flattery. For instance, the phrase ‘You’re so exotic!’ comes across as a positive statement, but this can make black people feel foreign, alien and outcasted.
Similarly, the phrase ‘You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl’ might also be framed as a compliment, but it implies that darker skinned girls aren’t typically beautiful. We wanted to create bold, visual representations of racial microaggressions to raise awareness over the types of racism that black people experience on a daily basis.
Our #WordsHurt series of our campaign is not about exposing people’s ignorance, instead it is about making people more aware of the words they use and showing how microaggressive comments can create a hostile and toxic environment on our campus and in the city.