Creative Women & ProjectsWomen's Rights

The Black Experience isn’t One Size Fits All: Cheryl Johnson of Black in Real Life

What goes on in your mind when you see someone of another race, tribe or culture different from your own? Do you automatically fill in your mental gaps with a preconceived notion of what you’ve heard about that race? Or do you take just a little bit of time to navigate and be positively curious/interested in that person?
A lot of times, when we encounter someone who is different from us physically, our minds immediately fill up with a notion of who the person, what they do and all sorts of nuances that are actually just external and media-fed prejudices. This unhealthy automatic prejudice has fed racism that is now prevalent in Ads, Brand Marketing and Content. This concept of media-fed prejudices and notions that do not, in any manner, reflect the truth of who a person is, is why Cheryl Johnson decided to create a project that shows the black experience and how black people live their lives – Black in Real Life.

Cheryl Johnson of Black in Real Life - The Black ExperienceBlack in Real Life is Cheryl Johnson’s 100 Day Project to help brands create meaningful conversations that honor the Black experience.
“I would see these terrible ads with racist undertones and always wonder why no one spoke up during the planning process and say ‘hey, this might be offensive’, says Cheryl Johnson “I realized maybe there weren’t any people of color with a seat at the table or even in a position to speak up.
Also being in a program with a number of international students, I still felt like an outsider. All of that being said, I wanted us to take control of our narrative and show brands that the Black experience or any cultural experience isn’t one size fits all.” 

You should also check out Black in Advertising and Lyra Aoko’s Photography that turns Black Women into Superheroes.

Black in Real Life aims to highlight the varying perspectives of Black people across the globe about our experiences – both negative and positive. Oftentimes the media portrayal of Blacks is a monolithic one, Cheryl is, therefore, inviting you to participate by submitting videos, audio or handwritten notes online or directly to her at, speaking to a variety of topics related to Blackness – traveling while Black, soul food, Micro-aggressions, Tindering while Black, working in corporate America, Jay-Z and Bey, etc.
The videos live on the Black in Real Life Instagram page and website.


Leave a Reply