Making Reference is an ongoing series of self portraits influenced by representations of Black Women in art history and popular culture. Ethnographic photographs from the Caribbean, South America and North America along with paintings from those regions serve as reference points for my self portraits. Using my body and adornments such as gold hoop earrings, eyeliner and orchids, I explore my perceived identity and question how I see myself versus how others see me. Making Reference draws on the tradition of studio portraiture, in which many a colonized body was subjected to without their consent. The portrait studio, a controlled environment, was a site of exploitation of people of color; where they were often posed in stereotypical situations. Their likeness than reproduced for the viewing pleasure of European eyes; the colonial gaze. This series allows me to explore the history of Black Women in the Americas and how they were seen while simultaneously allowing me the agency of self-representation to confront perceptions of my own identity.