Khali to urge FMU to embrace Afrocentric beauty

Poet, photographer brings message to Interactive forum on Feb. 26

2/20/2014, 9 a.m.

Photographer and poet Saddi Khali wants people of African descent to accept themselves just as they are. He brings his message of what he calls “self-love” this month to Florida Memorial University.

“There’s a dominant standard of beauty that is generally white, tall, thin and blonde and airbrushed. So many people don’t fit that beauty standard,” Khali says. “We have to undo some of the ways we see


Saddi Khali Photographer and poet


Khali is noted around the world for his photography and for his appearances as a spoken word artist on Def Poetry Jam. But on February 26, he appears in an interactive presentation about Blacks honoring their natural attributes instead of following the crowd in the Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts at Florida Memorial, 15800 NW 42nd Avenue in Miami Gardens.

Professor Keshia N. Abraham, chair of the FMU Black Studies Committee, said the subject matter allows participants to create and establish their individual creative presence.

“It will be interactive,” she states. “The community would definitely want to attend because his work, capturing the beauty in all forms of blackness — physically, culturally, aesthetically, culturally — is simply beautiful.”

Khali’s mission is to reverse the negative imagery of people of color as perpetuated throughout centuries of arts and media. The FMU will feature his images to jumpstart the discussion.

“We need to see images of ourselves with humanity. Women: beautiful — regardless of size, shape or complexion. Men: strong and loving. Parents and children: caring and happy. Couples: in love, in warm, intimate moments,” he explains on his website.

Khali says it’s important that audiences verbalize their feelings about how they’ve been impacted by mainstream images, in order to heal and accept their true, authentic selves.

“Their daughter needs to know that she does not need a blonde wig and blue contacts in order to be beautiful.”

The free presentation is open to students, faculty and the South Florida community.

For more information, call Professor Abraham at 305-626-3157.