Tiny Love Stories: ‘A Truth I Had Tried to Ignore’
On Monday, November 20, 2016, an emotional and emotional roller coaster of a few days followed the shooting of 18-year-old Rekia Boyd at the hands of Sacramento police officer Byron Williams outside her home.
In its aftermath, and with the help of the media and the community, I found myself thinking about a personal story I had tried to ignore for much of the past five years.
In my professional role as a photographer and videographer with the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA), and a long-running interest in photography, I was regularly exposed to shooting and documenting young black men of color while covering the lives of people of color in the larger public eye. During this time, I learned how some of these young men had managed to hold on to hope for a better life in spite of the daily challenges of being black and in America.
I was also aware that many people of color did not have that kind of support from both their communities and their families during the same time in their lives. I wanted to take a moment to thank the community for helping me to better understand, document and understand these young men.
On this day, many black parents will call their children over the phone or text and ask for a hug, just as many white parents do and will also call their children. While you could say that this is not a great or healthy way to parent, at least this is a way to connect and know that there are other parents who are dealing with similar circumstances.
At the same time, this past year, I would imagine that most black mothers had no idea of some of the things some of these young men had to go through on a daily basis.
I am a mother myself, and I have two daughters. When their father had a difficult situation arise during the course of our family’s life, we also found it to be a very hard thing to do. My oldest daughter’s father died from a heart attack in 2009