All photos by Marcus Franklin.
The great folks at Colorlines are currently running an extensive, brilliant and insightful series on Black Men. This months installments focus on Black fatherhood. Please read the first essay ‘The Untold Story of Black Fatherhood’ by Stacia L. Brown here. Today’s re-blog is a photo essay by Marcus Franklin who refocuses the distorting lens of mainstream media with intimate portraits of black dads and their kids. It first appeared on Colorlines.com on November 19 2014.
In June of 2013 I started photographing black men and their children and created The Fatherhood Project, the online home for photos that capture them in ordinary moments. A single dad helping his daughter with math homework during a break at work. A dad teaching his daughter how to walk as they wait to see a doctor. A father and son chilling on a stoop.
Why photograph black men and their children? What’s extraordinary about these subjects?
Colorlines’ ongoing series Life Cycles of Inequity explores facets of the Black male experience in the US. This article and photo series by Kai Wright and Gerard Gaskin (first published in September 2014 on colorlines.com) take us inside the culture of house balls, underground events where gay and transgender men and women, mostly African American and Latino, come together to see and be seen. The images come from Gaskin’s 2013 book ‘Legendary. Inside the House Ballroom Scene’.
Gerard Gaskin: “Legendary. Inside the House Ballroom Scene”.
Hip-hop is not the only place where young black artists deeply influence mainstream culture and entertainment—and do so without recognition or pay. Pop artists have for decades appropriated the style, dance and sound generated inside the black and Latino LGBTQ community’s house ballroom scene. From Madonna’s 1990 “Vogue” to the Scissor Sisters’ 2012 “Let’s Have a Kiki,” the creative teams of Top 40 performers have consistently mined the scene for inspiration.
DESCRIPTION: Nudies is a compilation of found footage that represents one’s intuitive relationship to gender over time. By looking at what we were looking at, we start to define our relationships to larger systems as reactive and changing. Through this metamorphosis, the subconscious mind reflects most honestly the inner struggles and accomplishments that can’t be defined or pinpointed by waves.
Meredith Degyansky, often under the alias of The Work Intern, is an artist/administrative aide that creates systems for paying off our debt, systems for redefining and valuing our labor, and systems that connect us to one another usually through food and conversations about sadness. www.theworkintern.org
courtesy of Station Independent Projects
Images are said to evoke deeper elements of awareness than words are because apparently the parts of the brain that process images are older than the parts that process verbal information (Harper, 2002). If you think about it, it does make some sense when you consider that we have been using symbols longer than language to communicate. I love words, sharing them, exchanging them and rearranging them. Everything about words excites me but images, photographs in particular, have the ability to seduce me. They can take me somewhere else entirely. Some images have made such a visceral impression on me over the years that I make time to recall them. Visual anthropologists and sociologists have used photo elicitation and production techniques in their research for a number of years. The former is the practice of inserting photographs into an interview or focus group in order to draw out different kinds of data whereas the latter is the collaborative practice of using (mainly) participant-generated photographs as a primary source of data collection.