James Dickerson

A Photojournal

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Life is what it is.

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I don't believe in guns, but I fully support legal carrying in the black community. My man and his lady. Shits tough.

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April 25th, 2020

It continues to be different, the look I receive from the mirror. For my own self discoveries hesitate to solve my needs. And my wants are just my imagination being childish. Am I who I think I am, or am I not. The thing I lack the most is trust. I don't think I've proven I can trust. Not yet, at least. Blind emotions be easier to guide, easier to lose. I just need for one to lose sight of my fears and just be there for me. I'm tired. You're tired.

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Mason has that trust and it's beautiful. Kids are born rich unless their parents are mentally poor. Hanging with Connie I could tell that Mason spent his money wisely and, encouraged me to spend a little of my own with my sons. He was ready for me to make a few photographs of he and Connie. Only after he raced cars as Sonic the Hedgehog, or hopped in the drivers seat challenging Connie to a foot-versus-car race. He may miss out on the fun of starting kindergarten, but I don't think it will matter to him. I think he knows how to make the best out of the worst. My coverage of Covid-19 is ongoing in different neighborhoods.

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If you look close you'll see both grandson and grandfather resting in the same position. Hands clasped tight, observing me, learning me while I learn them back. That's all I can say, tbh.

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I wish my voice was louder. It's too soft, and too late to be someone else. So I whisper to myself: "You are who you are- I am who I am" until this mantra dominates my meditative soul, listening and thinking of me: The quiet voice with the steady eye.

Saturday, May 29th 2020

The lump of coal America received for Christmas was used to light a fire in the hearts of broken-hearted. Unfortunately, it took the lives of African Americans to fuel this fire. The death of George Floyd was one that could not be ignored. The death of Breonna Taylor is one we're hoping isn't. What have we done that allows us to pretend that America is worth saving?

Protests across the "greatest country on earth" look like pimples rising upon its white face. Fires burning red, looting destroying its smooth surface, and it all makes sense: this is America finding out its atrocities make it pretty ugly, and no amount of facial cream will help its disposition.

My presence at the protest was here and there. Conflicted by a few things- as a photographer, a black male and a victim of police brutality. I couldn't wrap my mind tight enough around all three long enough to be all three at the same time. I wanted to conquer the trauma of nearly losing my life at 23, but also wanted to be a voice for my people visually by showing the protest in a different light. So much of our pain, and the pain of others, is on display, and I want did not want to be another photographer that saw that and that only.

I wanted to show it all. The love of a people in solidarity against police brutality and overall acceptance of black life. A full on display of white allies, brown allies and the LGBTQ community that indeed needs us all collectively to be human towards each other.

But I also wanted to put my hands on a cop in revenge. I wanted to sacrifice my freedom to end what I've had nightmares about. Lost hours of my life to.

But I would've lost too much.

My kids would've lost too much.

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All we can do is live.

I like to write letters, mostly to people that will never see them, but letters that say anything, and everything, on my mind. I might mention your smile, or use of slang. I might cover the experience leading up to our existence right now. What's left inside of me is different from what you guess, so I share my fruit with you. Juneteenth was a taste of freedom before the continued suppression of Black. I've never felt connected to the Fourth of July, that might've been my ancestors telling me the truth. I'm writing to let you know that you're on my mind, Black. Your safety, security and well-being. You're melanin rich. Stay cool, Black. Juneteenth is a day for you.

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