First Iconium Baptist Church
These black and white photos depict organizations in Georgia,
Alabama, and North Carolina providing social services and advocating
for justice. They were made as I strode a four month side path
in early 1999 during a pilgrimage retracing the Atlantic slave
trade in 1998-99 (the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage).
They show a black Baptist church in Atlanta, a black Catholic
church in Bessemer, Alabama, Savannah's Department of Community
Services, the Jubilee Bridge crossing in Selma, Alabama, and
the Racial Justice Network in Greensboro, North Carolina. This
series is part of a much larger project entitled One Sky,
intended to be a visual account of one pilgrim's journey along
the trail of slavery and racism.
Along with the black and white photos, I display color images
showing the Middle Passage Pilgrimage in the same areas as the
organizations shown in black and white. From June to November,
1998, our pilgrimage walked some 2,400 miles from western Massachusetts,
along the eastern seaboard, thru the south, to New Orleans, to
learn and offer prayers.
I departed the main pilgrimage to pursue a more personal form
of pilgrimage. And to give back to the people that had hosted
us so generously. I offered my photography in exchange for lodging
and food and, if possible, help with photographic expenses, making
whatever photos the organizations requested. They each have a
set of pictures, and I've assembled this set for public viewing,
hoping an audience will see something of the good work the various
communities and institutions are doing.
My photographic work at this point is to tell and show my
story of various peace and justice pilgrimages-what I experienced,
what I learned, how I've changed, how I might change further,
with pointed reference to the larger society, what it can experience,
what it can learn, how it can change. In particular, I've been
part of the recent 15 month long Interfaith Pilgrimage of the
Middle Passage. Now, thru my photo exhibits, slide shows, and
publications, I strive to help dismantle one of the main streams
of slavery's legacy, the system of racially based injustice prevailing
today in these United States.
Walking the talk of the reality of oppression is my call,
my "vocation," my vow, from a greater power: spirit,
simply put, "breath of life."
I heed the words of Deuteronomy, "Take exceeding care
lest you forget the things you ever saw, lest you turn aside
in your heart. Make them known to your children and to your children's
November 28, 2000