Black History Month 2018
Although I feel Black History is something we should honor daily, all year long, February is an entire month dedicated to our acknowledgment. I wanted to do something, but for a while I did not know what. I had so many ideas within the chaos that goes on in my head. I thought long and hard on what I felt could make an impact in my community. What did I feel would make a powerful statement. Be bold, and meaningful. As a mother of 3 beautiful black children, I often worry, as many of us do! What do we teach them, how do we teach them and will they listen to the lessons at hand? Do they have other influences to look up to besides myself and their father, that look like them and deal with the same struggles. As I thought about it more and more, I began to wonder why we don't have powerful African American groups that fight for our people like that of the Black Panthers' in the 1960's and 70's. I took this as an opportunity to educate my children on what they were, what they believed in and why they were such an important group in our evolution as free people.
About 2 weeks ago I finally made the decision that I'd be using children to capture this vision. They were going to be my Little Black Panthers'. Initially, I wanted to shoot 28 black children, one to represent each day of the month. I posted on my Facebook very vaguely, that I was looking for a lot of children to be apart of a project I was working on. To my surprise, I received a ton of inquiries for details on what I was casting for. At this point I was extremely excited. I was going to pull this off. I requested everyone where all black, with the exception of black prideful quotes and dashiki's. The parents were all in. I set up 3 shoot days which enabled me to do single photos of everyone and get a few group shots which was a relief.
I had this crazy idea of doing a newspaper backdrop. At first, I wanted to google all article that highlighted racial issues. That would have been ideal. That thought turned into maybe I can print out influential leaders images and plaster them onto the backdrop speratically. At this point it is Saturday and my first session for the series was Monday morning, I needed to get going with whatever I could find. With time crunch weighing on my shoulder, I ran out the house and up the road to one of those newspaper stands. IT WAS EMPTY!!! Who knew they dont stock them anymore. Me!!! hahahahaha. So I drove to two others and the same thing. Where could I go and get newspapers now? The local smoke shop! I get there and the guy at the register say, "You can only take 1!" I needed them all! "How much for ALL OF THEM?" $12.00 later I had 12 newspapers and was on my way out the door. I get outside and what do you know, a newspaper stand full of papers FOR FREE! I grabbed a few of those too. Sunday morning I woke up at about 7 am, rolled out about 9 ft of my seamless paper backdrop in a color I dont normally use often, layed it out on my living room floor held down flat by weights and began taping the newspapers to it. My boyfriend comes in and says why not use a glue stick... lightbulb, duh, why did I not think of that. I glued all 12 newspapers and 6 journal papers to the backdrop with 3 sheets left. Good thing I grabbed the extras. 2 hours in total it took me to make it, and I was so proud. I was super excited and ready for the first session.
Armed with my Nikon D7100, a 50mm and a 35mm lens I was ready to shoot! I had found an old school RCA television on the side of the road a few months ba
ck. I had taken it out the basement and cleaned it for another shoot so it was in my living room. I said to myself, why not, they need something to sit on. So we played around with the tv for all of the photos. The children stood on top, sat in front of it, layed over it. We had fun with it and surely all of the children that came into my home studio asked "What is that?" and "Does it work?"
As I write this post, the last night in January, I am anticipating the day ahead. I am truly excited to watch my vision come to life. I am so thankful and grateful to all of those that have helped my vision come to life. I am extremely pleased with the outcome and I hope you all are too! Lastly, I am proud of myself for setting my heart on a goal and knocking it out the park.