Narkita Gold. Black in Denver was conceived from an existential crisis. In 2017, I was asking myself questions like, who am I? What does it mean to be me? What is my purpose here? When I first moved here, I also noticed something unique about Denver's Black community, and that was the spectrum of Black self-expression. And I really thought it was beautiful and I wanted to capture it and share it.

The portrait interview series has definitely evolved over time, and each participant has definitely informed the evolution of the project. When I first started, I didn't know what I was looking for. I was really stepping into the unknown. And maybe 20, 25 photos later, I looked back and realized that people were talking about being themselves -- removing the mask, showing up, not conforming. And I thought that was truly powerful. After interviewing 100 Black Denverites, what I have learned is that being myself is the most powerful thing that I can do. My uniqueness is my superpower. So I just need to show up as myself and be confident in that. I've also learned about the power of being love. And when I say what it means to be love, it's being accepting, open-minded, and not condemning people for who they are. I think that's powerful. And these are two things I definitely plan to take with me for the rest of my days.