What does Black History month mean to you?
For me, all year is a celebration of the black race but during this particular month my efforts are very intentional. As a photographer, I am the Visual Voice of the Devalued, it's my duty to change the narrative of minorities until they are seen as the Greater Globe.
We're all making it in America thanks to the following, including Oprah, Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Ghandi, Barack Obama, black inventors historians master minds leaders, and everyday black people who make the world go 'round.
As the Visual Voice of the Devalued, Jakiera's Eye focuses on 5 groups and one being that of Women. On September 29, 2018 it was my mission to bring a visual voice to those Women of the Greater Globe. Especially doing a time like now when midterm elections are coming up, racism is working hard in the White House, sexism is hard at work in America, and privilege is working hard in the court of law.
On this day there was no other place I'd rather have been, wanted to be, needed to be, or could've been other than at the March for Black Women. As a black women, I feel my job is to display leadership, accept my role as head of this country, and take my position.
Our job on this day was not only to rein-form white men of America what our TRUE status is in this country but to also unite, lock arms with, and remind our sisters that regardless of how much men try to berate and degrade, we are STILL the goddess that we were created as. We must continue to treat each other as such, respect ourselves as such, and demand to be treated as such. The future is women and it's time that we all acknowledge and act on that.
"When I'm with white people I have to ask why are you so racism
When I'm with heterosexuals I have to ask why are you so homophobic
When I'm with men I have to ask why are you so sexist
January 10, 2018 we hardly celebrated our 1-year anniversary. In fact, I forgot it was the anniversary until a love one brought over a card and sunflowers to congratulate us. It's been a trying year of trials and tribulations; business lows, contracts that didn't fall through, partnerships that never kicked off, clients that backed out, and a 15-year collection of over 1 million photographs and videos damaged (but not beyond $1,100 of repair). Meanwhile, the technology the we use in post-production is aging and outdated, I've already quit my 5-year career in finance to devote all of my energy into creating photography, and our business lending source is no longer dependable.
Since as far back as I can remember I've always planned to stage a black Santa Claus during the Christmas holiday for portraits. Well before hashtags like #MelaninMatters and black culture was trending. This isn't something I wanted to do because the timing was right since the popularity was there but because it was past due. As a child I wondered why my mom kept giving this white man credit for this amazing Christmas that she gave me year after year. I recognize the struggle, her hard work, and our economic status in our single parent home. She was my Santa AND SuperSHEro but for those who believed that it was Santa that delivered then they should at least believe he's the same complexion as they were. "Keep it in the family!" Unfortunately our funding source didn't come through as promised so that was another lucrative opportunity missed. To add salt to the wound, I saw ads for a local mall that was hosting its first black Santa.
Fast forwarding to today, it's been a year, we've made it and that's a celebration within itself. Mentally I've tapped out a couple of times, my subconscious has attempted to call it quits, and my bank account has said it's over but my heart and passion and purpose says otherwise. This year you can look forward to our monthly newsletters, faithfully. We have plenty of projects stewing in the pot including Goddess, The Greater Globe: DC and Baltimore, Black Girl Magic, and personal documentaries from Jakiera's perspective. In addition, we've taken a different approach to the expense of our services and have decided to make Everything $125 across the board. Consider us the Walmart of culture, business and brand photography! Lastly, we'll be opening a merchandise store this year with products including handmade and one of a kind camera straps, wall decor, mugs and phone cases. We have a lot to be excited about and I'm hopeful that you're as excited as we are to join us on this journey and give back along the way.
Summer of 2017 will be memorable because it holds the milestone of my complete transition from employee to business owner, dreamer to doer, and hobbyist to professional. But to top it off, Nations Photo Lab afforded us the opportunity to partner with them as sponsors of ABC 2 News series, Built Upon a Dream, in the renovation process of the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore Brooklyn O'Malley, alongside other sponsors including @underarmour @loweshomeimprovement @tacobell.
I absolutely feel blessed, fortunate, and extreme delight that I was able to capture & provide the portraits for this makeover but it's so much more! The anticipation is overwhelming as the final touches come together for the reveal and the joy it will bring to the youth. I'm imagining feelings of gratitude, value, love, and further confirmation that they were worth it all! Pure bliss #TheGreaterGlobe
Be sure to tune into ABC on September 7th and stay connected with us as we share the journey here on JakierasEye.com. We are currently showing the Brooklyn O'Malley trip to Sagamore Farms with former Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, "Sunsets at Sagamore." His camp allowed underprivileged youth of the BGC of Metro Baltimore a chance see life outside of their norm. Time spent at the camp gave them hands-on experiences to relish in the possibilities. Visit our page for more of the journey.
#OccupyBarryFarm GENTRIFICATION OF SE, DC
So many questions; what happens to those who are bought out, forced out by the government? People are being forced out of their homes and on to unaffordable cities and counties. Where is the compassion, remorse, or concern? Does capitalism make people so filled with greed that they become heartless? How much of this has to do with racism? If the neighborhood wasn't 100% black or minority would this still take place? Washington DC is hardly affordable for middle class so how will people of poverty be able to afford the costs of DC living? Or is this none of the Government's concern? Life isn't fair but this isn't even ethical.
I want you and him and her and the white population and the black population to care. I want everyone to see that equality is the missing factor and that it's not acceptable. People are too comfortable with things like this happening. Many of us don't even know that it's happening; let's be informed and voicetress with our demands to create change. Real people and real families, including innocent and helpless children are losing their homes and livelihood. Unfortunately, black people in poverty tend to lack knowledge and resources to create change but there are others who can help fill those gaps. Let's all do our part.
#TheVisualVoice Meet Mr. Daryl (the disgruntled one), James (who preferred not to be called Mr.), and Mr. Ernest (who claimed to be Leroy Jones before he laughed and said "I'm lying!")
Here they sit and wait from 7am when the shelter puts them out, until 7pm when the shelter let's them back in.
It's an abandoned part of the old St. Elizabeth's Asylum campus, which will soon be turned in the Government's DHS hear quarters.
Many people will be left to wonder what will become of their living space, including these three men of #TheGreaterGlobe , #ParkChester projects, and the home owners of #BarryFarms that are being forced out against their will for the interest of the middle and upper class (see "Illegal Moveouts" blog).
Only two things matter when you consider photography - 1) Type and 2) Style within each type; everything else is trivial.
By type, I mean the photographers area of expertise and what she specializes in. The list is endless but some common types include portraiture, sport, street, fashion, documentary, architectural, food, night, and landscape.
By style, I mean the photographers approach. Is she artistic in her angles, crops, effects, filters, locations? Is she intuitive by capturing candids and in-action shots? Is he traditional with still, posed, and classic portraiture?
Naturally, photographers will drift towards certain types due to their personal interest. Eventually the industry may drive them into another direction but photography is art and art comes from the heart so ultimately they'll always be the photographer that their heart says they are. Many moons ago my mother recognized my favorite hobby as my passion and brought my first professional camera for my 16th birthday. 3 types dominate my archives and those are street, landscape, and documentary.
Street Photography fulfilled my interests in different people, cultures, and those who I was most concerned about including homeless, minorities, and women. It took over 15 years for me to make sense of what that meant. In summary, the subjects of my street photography evolved into a thing that I've coined as "The Greater Globe." I am the Visual Voice for the Devalued, who actively documents their lives until they're seen as the Greater Globe.
Documentary Photography is evident in the countless photos and videos that I've collected of my family for so many years. Every event, occasion, celebration, or moment that I shared with my family intentionally or not included my camera. It's almost as if I'm afraid to miss a moment. Subconsciously, I know that if ever my memory gives out on me than photographs are all that I'll have to relive the moment.
As far as my style goes, different types require different styles but I'm very intuitive and my favorite photographs are always the candids that capture the most truest and purest forms of my subjects. Second to candids, I like to incorporate the artistic approach in order to mold the story that I'm telling and dictate the viewers interpretation the best that I can.
Take-away: choose your photographer wisely but keep it simple and focus on the type that they specialize in and the style that they use to approach the many types. Please note: Photographers are not limited to what they specialize in but it should give you a great idea of rather or not they're ideal for your needs. Example, an architectural photographer may not be ideal for your Newborn portraits but more fit for a real estate agent. Or, a landscape photographer may be useful for outdoor portraits since he's used to photographing still objects.
Two very similar incidents regarding protesters voicing their opinions that turned into rioting. Yet they didn't end with very similar outcomes. Hundreds were arrested and charged for crimes of breaking the windows of public property and setting vehicles on fire at the Freddie Gray protests. Less than a hundred were arrested and charged for the same crimes at the Inauguration riots.
The Freddie Gray rioters were held responsible for their crimes and found guilty. According to the Baltimore Sun, some of the rioters who were arrested for burglary was held at higher bails than the officers charged for Freddie Gray's death. And one defendants alone took five years for a first-degree burglary. I can't help but to feel like this is modern day slavery.
Businesses such as those seen in the photograph above, were vandalized in the same fashion by rioters of the 2017 Inauguration. Yet, I'm struggling to find an article that says rioters were held responsible for their actions in the same manner. So while the crimes were the same and the timing was within a few years of one another and the intentions were the same, I can't help but notice that the complexion of the rioters were different and so were their verdicts.
Protesters turned rioters should choose their race wisely before committing a crime out of rage towards an unjust. system. Inequality is well and alive. America, president, government, leaders you MUST do better. No justice? No equality? It's 2017.
Dinzel is a veteran turned artist that creates drawings to sell on his website www.dinzel.com, which he uses to pay for food. His companion is his cat named Reo whom he trained himself and together they work the corner of Dounton and Gemantown Street in downtown Philadelphia to raise additional income for shelter.
The recording above is a clip from a full video that can be found in The Greater Globe gallery. In the video you'll find a brief conversation where I attempted to capture parts of our dialogue that was exchanged before the recording started. Please forgive me for interrupting him. Lessons come in the rarest form and that one was learn on this day - listen more, talk less.. Hopefully the lesson received by others come as a reminder that homeless people are still people. Regardless of our status we all deserve more respect and less judgement. My hopes behind sharing this is that it'll provide people with a little more insight into the lives of some of those we frequent on street corners and sometimes turn our noses up at.
Next, I can't wait to set my fears aside and capture a more intimate, upclose and personal conversation with local panhandlers, disabled or veterans. I can just imagine the many stories, lessons and value that lives inside someone like Dinzel. Visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/artist.dinzel for more. Share your thoughts.
If I had one gift, one purpose, then I'd like to believe that one was to contribute to society providing unity and love through the art of photography.