I Am A Man

I am a people watcher.  I love to watch people and imagine their lives.  I like to take notice of their mannerisms, their idiosyncrasies.  The train is one of my favorite places to watch.  Observing as they get on and off.  How they hold on as the train takes off and stops.  How they kept their heads down buried in their phones or tablets.  How they talk to one another.  How couples snuggle up.  I watch.  This day though, I also watched and was deeply moved by the varied black men that rode the train.  I carefully examined how each one presented themselves. Each having their own distinct interpretation of who they are.  So powerful, so graceful, so expressive.  It was so clear to me how different each man was but also how similar.  

In 2016, we had been bombarded with images and videos of black men being assaulted and killed by those who are sworn to protect and serve.  It was too much.  I honestly would have to deliberately not read some headlines so I could have a productive day.  If it was too much for me, what must it have been for the black man?  It was in that moment that I decided I needed to do my part to show the black man that I support him.

That day on the train, I decided that my love of the black man needed to be expressed.  An exploration of the black man through still imagery.  Images so striking that you would be able to see their pain, their vulnerabilities, their hope and dreams but more importantly I want you to see their humanity.

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass.

When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.

I am one of the most irresponsible beings that ever lived. Irresponsibility is part of my invisibility; any way you face it, it is a denial. But to whom can I be responsible, and why should I be, when you refuse to see me? - Ralph Ellison

 Steve

 Steve

 Alton

 Alton

 Lloyd

 Lloyd

Malik

Malik

 William

 William