Updated: 3 days ago
I have photographed protests across America. My focus has been on capturing the melting pot of young people in the trenches, on the front lines and leading the way for social justice and change. I thought I had seen it all until I came upon a protest of one. I looked over to my right and there she was, a young. very brave, white woman, standing on the corner of a busy intersection, having a silent one-woman anti-racism protest declaring Black Lives Matter.
She was standing in a community of residential and commercial properties where Trump 2020 signs were displayed on some of the residences and businesses, but, there she stood in a powerful, almost defiant, I shall not be moved stance, dressed in all black, wearing a Black Lives Matter face mask, hoisting a protest sign in the air above her head with both hands and looking straight ahead. Without uttering a single word she was protesting the treatment of Black people in America .... alone. She did not flinch as passer-byers honked their car horns in support as they drove by. She did not flinch as passer-byers honked their car horns taunting her in disapproval as they drove by. She was standing and withstanding fearlessly, with a sense of purpose asserting Black Lives Matter to her.
I thought about how many times my own black life had not mattered in America. She was standing for me. I thought about how many generations of allies like her had given their time and given themselves to the social justice cause but whose voices were never heard, whose presence went unnoticed and whose contributions were never documented. I thought about the ancestors in that moment, both mine and hers. whose shoulders she stood on, whose work she was continuing for the sake of humanity . During what is regarded as Americas’ darkest days in modern times, particularly for Black Americans such as I, her silent protest of one was powerful and offered hope for the future. I needed to thank her for that.
Anti-Racism: The Power of One
24th of September 2020