The people I photograph are part of the communities situated within Bronzeville’s Dearborn Homes and Parkway Gardens of Greater Grand Crossing, two of the last remaining housing projects in Chicago’s South Side.
My work centralizes Black communities and in particular Black women in an effort to create appropriate representation as well as to de-stigmatize the lives of those pictured through a humanist lens. Each image seeks to engage the human community in a conversation with itself that transcends difference and emphasizes commonality.
The work individualizes the human experience of those who exist within the walls of a physical structure that was built to oppress, and which is upheld by an unseen but deeply felt institutionalized oppression. By underlining our similarities and underscoring our shared citizenship the images bring a necessary conversation to the forefront.
Pictures and Progress (working title) derives its name from an address delivered by Frederick Douglass in 1861, in which Douglass speaks on the importance of ‘appropriate representation’ in the fight for racial equality. These portraits are the result of a conversation between subject and photographer, a reciprocity of looking and an exchange of time, histories, and intention. Each photograph made is a testament to that exchange; a representation of self and subject made with the intentionality of appropriate representation.