Thursday, September 4, 2014

I AM Photo Project

"In August 2013, a few weeks after the verdict for the murder of Trayvon Martin, I found myself reflecting on my life experiences as a black man and the conflict between who we are versus who people think we are.  A year later with the murder of Mike Brown, I find myself in the same position. Despite how we define ourselves, we are often misunderstood and misjudged.  Our identifies are too often limited by our complexions, the style of our clothes, the music we listen to, the side of the law we stand on, the mood of the cops we encounter, and the history of our struggles for citizenship in our own country.  Yes, we are black men, but before that we are human.
This photo project is a year-long effort to capture the identities of black men across the country. Through the project, I share just a snippet of how we define ourselves: fathers, sons, friends, artists, teachers, men full of passion and love… the list goes on. I ask you to see us as we see ourselves." -Tesfa

Raka | Proud Afro-Latin
“Raka means a rebel from Panama and that’s who I am. I’m from the ghetto, but not everything that comes from the ghetto has to be negative. I’m Raka Rich… I’m proud of who I am.”

Jacob G. - Los Angeles, CA
“Every time I wear this shirt it throws people off. This is my family. My birth mother had enough love for me to know that I’d be better off in the care of  others.  There’s part of my background where I know I’m a product of a darker side of humanity… but I use that as motivation to shine. The Phoenix… from the ashes he rises and takes flight.”
Man of God | Family Man | Motivated
“I keep trying to push myself to be better… I did mechanics in the Army.  Through that experience I realized that I can do mechanics anywhere in the world.
Through God everything is possible.  I try to stay closer to him because if I stay closer to him everything will work out.”
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