How Black am I?

We love to take pictures of ourselves.  We love youth.  So, its only a matter of time that we get an app that looks at our selfies and answers the age old question: do I look old?  How-Old.net is a simple site that allows you to choose a picture and, using facial recognition software, it will guess your age.  While trying to find a picture that would tell me I looked young, I found something interesting.  The site told me I was not-so-old (great!) but at least it could see me–my Ghanian husband: not so much.

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The site had a hard time seeing dark-skinned black faces, whether in the bright sun with plenty of light

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Or sipping cappuccinos with pinkies up, the app couldn’t recognize my fabulous husband or his friend.

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It’s bad enough that black lives have to demand that they matter to be visible.  Now they are erasing us from our selfies?

Susan X Jane

Susan Jane thinks a lot about media and race…a lot. She teaches Communications at Wheelock College, writes and speaks about media…and race... and generally encourages everyone she meets to think about the way media shapes their sense of self and their ideas and beliefs about the world. If you're reading this, she wants you to think about it too. Want to talk about it? Let's go.

3 thoughts on “How Black am I?

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