Meet Chrissy, Dannye, and their daughter.
“I think of the Black men in my life, my father, my brother, my boyfriend. I fear how vulnerable they are to violence. They are seen as a threat by the media, by America. They could be out for a run, driving around the neighborhood, or just unlocking the front door, and they are vulnerable to violence.
“I think about the difference between Black men and women in this country. Black women are a commodity, but Black men are a threat.
“Dannye is our protector. What happens to us if something happens to him?
“My brother is an elite pilot in the military. He is at the pinnacle of the profession. But violence could come to him any day, anywhere just because of the color of his skin.
“I thought about what to wear for these portraits and thought about how the sins and trauma of our ancestors are passed down to us. The black we wear represents our connection to those sins, that trauma. I also asked myself, ‘Why should black represent the negative while white represents the innocent?’ That’s one reason I didn’t dress my daughter in white. While I wanted to show my hope for her future, a hope that she will forge her own way beyond our country’s past, I wanted that hope to be neutral rather than white. She represents our hope to heal and grow beyond the conflict between black and white.”
The portraits of Chrissy, Dannye, and their daughter and their words are part of my project to show how Columbus is responding to and working through the current national protests in support of Black Lives Matter.
In addition to creating the portraits for the project, I have asked participants to “donate what you can” for each portrait sitting. Donations will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative, a national organization directed by Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy.
(If you’re interested in donating directly to the organization, you can donate here.)
As of this post, the project has donated $1,015 to EJI.
Thank you, Chrissy, Dannye, and everyone who has joined the project. To join my project, please send me a private message or email at email@example.com. I want to tell your story next.
To read more about the project and to see a list of all the sessions, please click this link.