Lately, I have been struggling to find the right words to express myself in response to the madness that seems to be escalating with each passing day. So many emotions – conflicting ones – swirl around in my head and stab at my heart, and I’ve become almost mute, afraid to speak, afraid to offend, afraid to make others uncomfortable, afraid, afraid, afraid.
Luckily I have my photography to speak for me. And oh, I’m so glad that I have my photography to speak for me.
As the saying goes, “one picture is worth ten thousand words.” And frankly, I don’t have 10,000 words to express the anger and frustration that has been building within me over the past few months.
As shock, disgust and disbelief over the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin rippled across the world (thanks to the power and potency of social media), I tried to figure out what, if anything, I could bring myself to say, to add to the burgeoning discourse, that would be meaningful, that would add some value to the ongoing discussion, that would bring some level of healing to this gaping national wound that continues to fester….with each injustice, the wound keeps being reopened, each time more violently and senselessly than the last. I meditated and reflected on all that I have read and seen (I refuse to listen to the 911 audio clips or Martin’s last phone conversation with his friend…I’m not strong enough for that), I thought about the above image of the young male walking toward Germantown Avenue.
I took the above photo over a year ago. When I took it, I didn’t think that it had settled so deeply into my subconscious, rumbling around, waiting for the right time to resurface. I didn’t think that the right time for it to resurface would be now. God knows that this was not my intent.
Lil Man. Who is Lil Man?
He is my soon to be 7-year-old son in Georgia (whom I love and miss dearly).
He is the embodiment of my two young nephews in the St. Louis area (whom I love and miss dearly)….my male cousins all over the country.
He is my significant other (who I love and pray for daily).
He is my father, my late grandfathers…my uncles, my friends and acquaintances, and all the Black men, young and old, who are just trying to live their lives the best way they know how.
When will the injustice stop??
When will the insanity stop??!?!?
When will America make good on its promise?
How much more blood must be spilled on the streets?
How many more lives have to be cut short?
I have nothing else to say.
Someone needs to explain this shit to me.