Flumes Volume 1 Issue 1 - Page 21

a lynching event. Tragically over time, these very postcards were then added to photo histories of black families in the US. His book is a visual legacy of the systematic abuse, torture, and murder of blacks during Jim Crow. Each black and white photo reveals the fear and ignorance that existed between blacks and whites of the era. In many of them, what is more disturbing than the actual images of the dead are the smiles of the white onlookers, many of them children. Alabama's Tuskegee Institute gives a staggering statistic that between the years of 1882-1968, 4,749 people were lynched in the United States, 70% of those African Americans. The brutal and shocking images should alarm our society to the damage caused by racism. James Allen revealed, “These photos provoke a

strong sense of denial in me, and a desire to freeze my emotions. In time, I realize that my fear of the other is fear of myself. Then these portraits, torn from other family albums, become the portraits of my own family and of myself. And the faces of the living and the faces of the dead recur in me and in my daily life.” While it may be easy to turn away from destructive words, ideas or whole ideologies we don’t agree with or believe in, —the Holocaust comes to mind, it is harder to deny and forget the historical evidence of mankind at its worst. By taking a closer look at our history, recorded by photography, we acknowledge the wrongs of the past and move toward healing the wounds left behind.

As we look to photos of our ancestors to make sense of our lives, so, too, photos of our children are doorways to the future. The photos taken at the birth of my daughter and son capture the power and vulnerability of new life and the flow of energy that flourishes in any new mother. The eyes of my newborn, Atticus reflect his soul, the strong bond between him and me, the moment when we met, when he first met my breast. Such photos are the true essence of love, a moment captured in time. How quickly babies change and grow, without the camera, there is no way to keep up with every new and exciting moment of babyhood.

As Robert Frank, photographer and documentarist suggests “Let the eye learn to listen before it looks.” So close your eyes, listen and remember: JFK Jr’s final salute at the casket of his assassinated father in 1963. Eleven men eating “Lunch atop a skyscraper’s 69th floor in 1932. A Navy man kissing a woman in Times Square at the end of WWII; MLK Jr. speaking to thousands in Washington D.C at the Civil Rights March, 1963. The Beatles arriving in America in 1964. The brave student stopping a tank in Tiananmen Square 1989. The man jumping from the Twin Towers 9/11. A Syrian child washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015. Each of these images

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