WORK IN PROGRESS
People have said that since America elected its first black president, we have transitioned into a post-racial society. They assume if he can succeed, then all people of color can do the same. This is not reality for those living in Chester, Pennsylvania. People there grew up in an environment where forces everywhere are against them. Gravity seems to be stronger there and less forgiving. It is a place where pollution alters cognitive development, violence and crime are commonplace, poverty is oppressive, and jobs are virtually non existent.
This project is an attempt to bring awareness to the issues that plague many inner city black communities, like Chester, throughout America. Most importantly, though, it’s an attempt to show the resilience present in these communities. I was besieged while witnessing the issues weighing heavily on the lives of the people in this community. In experimenting with multiple exposures, I attempt to speak to the complexities that are so tightly woven into their lives. I wanted to create images that had layers of understanding in them, where one could see more of the true complications of life in Chester.
The political necessity of documenting the community for positive change is a driving force in my pursuit of this work, but the most significant reason lies in the deep attachments I formed over the years of working in this community. My investment in the welfare of these individuals is what keeps me returning. My only desire is that when this work is complete, it shows the care I have for these families who have embraced me as one of their own.