Microaggressions are defined as subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups.
A perfect example: “Can I touch your hair?” or worse touching without even asking, makes me feel like an animal on display for your amusement.
The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination, is that people who commit microaggressions are often aware they are doing these things – and if you point it out to them, they say, “That wasn’t my intention, you are being too sensitive.” Which is yet another microaggression that invalidates my feelings.
The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences in marginalized groups… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.
Each of these works represent the armor I weave to protect myself. I am looking to encourage dialog about implicit bias and stereotypes. My hope is to make the invisible, visible as a path towards a more inclusive culture.
Feel free to contribute a microaggression you have experienced in the comments section of this page. Each contribution will be written on a ribbon, which will then be woven into a series of tapestries and soft sculptures.
How microaggressions are like mosquito bites
Take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) Harvard University to uncover your biases.