A Google search turned Heather Hopson into a crusader for single black mothers.

“I typed ‘Single Black Mom’ and these negative narratives rose to the top of the page,” she remembers. “I immediately wanted to bang on Google’s door, since it has an office right here in Pittsburgh. Instead, I decided to take control of the story and elevate voices of amazing single black mothers in my circle, in my community.”

Hopson, 41, of Penn Hills, decided to channel her anger into Single Mom Defined, a photo essay and video series featuring more than 100 mothers and their kids. The interactive exhibit will be on display at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF) from June 1 through June 10.

Photographers Omari Souza and Robert Waters capture the essence of motherhood in black-and-white and color prints — some candid, some posed, some with added illustrations. Through the video component, women share their parenting experiences and dole out advice while their children describe them using words such as “inspiring,” “kind,” “phenomenal” and “affectionate.”

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