Little Brown Girl: Essays on the influence of Black Womanhood
in Visual Communication (or vice-versa)
Little Brown Girl is a response—a series of essays and stories based on my personal experiences as a Black woman in America—essays and stories that reflect the subject matter of hair, skin, respectability and self-love. Divided into three major parts, Little Brown Girl is a collection of personal thoughts of what it means to a Black woman, presently, and my responses through design and other means of visual communication. This work does not begin to encompass all of what being a Black woman is and means, nor does this work speak to every Black woman’s experience—for we all don’t experience our Blackness the same. This project is a reflection of more than just one side.
The Essays: This Skin I’m In discusses the history and effects of colorism, and what it means to be judged by others as well as one’s own race by the lightness or darkness of skin. Better than Good Hair, reveals the complex, emotional struggle and celebration of a Black woman’s hair. I also my own personal journey in learning to love it, no matter what. Finally, On Loving Blackness and Black Womanhood discusses how loving one’s own Blackness is a political and personal choice. Why some folks—even with talk of unity and togetherness—perceive this as a threat.
Aldrena is the creative director for the Communications Division at the South Carolina Bar. A graduate of Columbia College of South Carolina, she is also a design freelancer with primary clientele among non-profits and community service-oriented businesses. Aldrena is the owner of the Etsy shop, Handmade in South Carolina by drenie, where she merges her love for handmade craft and graphic design. She is a long-time member of AIGA—the professional association for design, and serves on its Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Aldrena lives in Columbia, the state capital, with her husband and two young children.