More about this Photo soon.
I attended the “My Brothers Keepers Boston” Summit a few weeks ago. About 500 people turned out. I can’t explain the intended message because that not my place but I enjoyed myself. I have been looking out for imagery to be posted from portions of the event and haven’t found many, which is surprising with so many photographers there. Below are a few on my shots. I didn’t take many but I think the few I did capture illustrate the intensity of listening and thinking going on by all who attended.
Last week I had the pleasure of sponsoring a “take care of you” event for the LIPSTICK (Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner City killings): Women who have lost love ones to violence. My hope was that they might pause for a moment to pamper themselves. I wanted them to remember as they continue to build their organization, what my mentor Marc always says which is “letting go is not giving up”.
“Letting go is surrendering any obsessive attachment to particular outcomes and situations. Surrender means showing up every day for your life with the intention to be your best self, and to do the best you know how, without expecting life to go a certain way. Have goals, have dreams, aspire, take purposeful action and build great relationships, but detach from what you think life must look like. The energy of someone aspiring to create something wonderful, teamed with this kind of surrender, is far more powerful and rewarding than someone determined to create outcomes with a desperate ‘must have’ mentality. Surrender brings inner peace and joy, and lest we forget that our outer lives are a reflection of our inner state of being.”
I brought my camera and even though they had an amazing photographer on deck with whom I didn’t want to interfere… I couldn’t help myself when they started to write the name and tell the stories of their love ones taken away by violence on a memory wall. The emotion moved me and I wanted others to feel the mixture of pain and love that was so evident in these women honoring their lost souls…so I took a few shots and I will share them with you here now.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and understand that while Ferguson and New York are the focus of today, we must not forget the pain and love of our neighbors who have also lost their hearts to violence.
Some have ask “Who” and “Why” ” The Change The Narrative, Shift the Perceptions, Change The Image” Campaign, I hope this helps!
HoodFit is a movement that focuses of self-efficacy and sense of personal agency: HoodFit seeks to amplify the positive attributes in our ‘hood’ that has allowed us to grow strong, experience resilience and exercise strategic problem solving. Mind, Body and Spirit.
This photo is in response to how tired I am of the negativity I was seeing on TV and reading online, every morning about my brothers. I didn’t know any of them! I do know hard working brothers that care about their family and community. I know brothers that work four jobs and still find time to give. I know brothers that remember to share their gifts. My gift is photography, so it’s time to use it.
Replicating the marathon photo is impossible. That’s a powerful photo that is different for every person that looks at it. So it can never be replicated.
However, I am hoping our photo will also show resilience, perseverance, strength and unity – not the mythical, negative stereotypes about men of color: that we cannot put aside our ego’s and come together, or that we are not change agents in our communities. More so hope it will showcase the strength of so many brothers and their son’s, nephews, cousins, grandsons.
Media attention about high Stop and Frisk rate for Men of Color.
While this campaign was started before the recent report and not designed to address this issue, I know and understand the issue first hand. I myself have been profiled and our young men are stopped too often by the police. Numerous organizations and the police have a lot of civic and policy work to do on this issue in order to regain the community’s confidence. Yet, simultaneously, we must recognize the City of Boston and the Boston Police Department have new leadership and a renewed commitment to correcting this challenge. We should hold them accountable for change, however, we cannot let the only outcry be rage. We have to create opportunities for healing. We will ensure the Change the Narrative|Perceptions|Image Campaign provides space for authentic conversations on this subject.
This is our moment. This is our history making moment, this is about honoring our ancestors, this is about our community, this about one heartbeat, this is about legacy.
Join me as we change the narrative, shift perceptions, and change the image for men of color in Boston. I guarantee you if you come with an open mind and an honest heart you will walk away lifted, connected and loved. It all starts with one image.
Saturday, 9am I know you will be there.