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Black and white photo by Leta Harrison

Black Girls Don't Wear Red Lipstick

Leta Harrison

Thursday, February 15, 2024 - Sunday, April 21, 2024 Central Library - 710 W. César Chávez St.
Gallery (2nd Floor)

About the Exhibit


Exhibition Reception: February 15, 2024, 6pm-9pm. Meet the artist and curators and hear inspired music by DJ Lauren Light.

Black History Month Celebration @ Central Library: February 24, 2024, 1pm-3pm. Join us in the Gallery for an inspiring spoken word event, featuring Christa Brown and Tonee Shelton, as part of the Black Girls Don't Wear Red Lipstick photography exhibition. Delve into a thought-provoking writing workshop where you can pen your personal experiences, connecting them to the themes of empowerment and beauty activism highlighted in the exhibit. Conclude the afternoon by sharing your stories in a supportive environment, celebrating self-expression and the power of breaking stereotypes. 

Saturday, April 13, 2024 | 11 am- 1 pm, Scarlet Serenity: A Stress-Free Yoga & Wellness Soiree

Description: _OFCOLOR presents' Scarlet Serenity: A Stress-Free Yoga & Wellness Soiree,' held in conjunction with the 'Black Girls Don't Wear Red Lipstick' exhibit. Join us as we embrace tranquility and wellness during Stress Awareness Month (April). Begin with a rejuvenating 50-minute yoga session led by a skilled instructor, exploring the transformative power of yoga to enhance well-being and alleviate stress. This session will take place in the gallery space with 'Black Girls Don't Wear Red Lipstick' as the backdrop. Continue the journey to relaxation with a 30-minute Gua Sha facial workshop, learning the art of this ancient practice for rejuvenation and self-care. Conclude the experience with light refreshments and the joy of community. Please bring your yoga mat, towel, and water! Don't forget your red lipstick! Free with Eventbrite registration.

Thursday, April 18, 2024 | 5:30pm-7:30pm Exhibition Panel Discussion: 

Black Girls Don’t Wear Red Lipstick! Is creative expression self-care. This panel serves as a platform for remarkable women to shed light on the challenges and triumphs they face as Black women entrepreneurs in Austin. Sharing personal experiences and insights, the panel will discuss strategies for maintaining well-being while chasing your dreams in a society that often overlooks some voices and stories. Join us at the Downtown Austin Public Library to visit the awe-inspiring Black Girls Don't Wear Red Lipstick photography exhibit, hear the panel, & build community!


  1. Creative Expression as Self-Care: Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of creative expression as a form of self-care and encourage seeking it
  2. Building a Supportive Community: Showcase the strength that comes from building community & inspire guests to seek similar networks in their community
  3. Amplifying Unheard Voices & Brands: A greater awareness of the significance of representation & the responsibility to elevate diverse stories & brands

Exhibition Description: Step into a world of audacious beauty and empowerment with the photo exhibition, Black Girls Don't Wear Red Lipstick, created by the visionary photographer, Leta Harrison, curated by Keyheira Keys and Whitney Hamilton, _OFCOLORATX.

Through images of Black women embracing vibrant colors and confidently wearing shades of red lipstick, Leta's bold photographic prints showcase women using beauty as a form of activism to reclaim their power, challenge oppressive beauty standards, and stifle stereotypes. Leta’s powerful images celebrate each woman’s uniqueness, fostering self-love, promoting positive change, and illustrating Black women breaking free from the shackles of conformity. 

About the Artist

Leta Harrison is a local Austin photographer with an unwavering passion for capturing the essence of her subjects and telling their powerful stories through her lens. Drawing inspiration from Texas musician, Kam Franklin's artist talk, in which she bravely shared her personal experiences of facing pressure to be more modest and being judged for her expressive style, often considered "too much", Kam's poignant recollection of the phrase, "Black girls don't wear red lipstick," struck a chord with Leta, inspiring her to further uplift the women that she photographs and to create this exhibition.

Image credit

Leta Harrison