Sometimes you find the most unexpected things in the least expected places. His name means “Born to bring joy”. He told me he earned his black belt in record time after losing his job. Now in addition to teaching martial arts at an elementary school; he also gives lessons on the beach. On this day, a mother showed up with her teenage son dressed in baggy jean shorts. He was a walk-on who saw the instructor the week before and asked if he could return. There’s something to be said for fulfilling your purpose by living up to your destiny.
Could you have your mistakes broadcast to the world and still face that world with a smile on our face? Mike Tyson was at SXSW this week to sign copies of his videogame “Mike Tyson-Fight Store”. He was smaller and far friendlier than I expected given his media image. And I couldn’t help but wonder if I could do it. Some have argued that it is all about the money. If true, wouldn’t it somehow show in his demeanor? The Mike that I saw appeared genuinely pleasant. Which suggests he’s either a wonderful actor or a true fighter. Or both?
I love love. Which is why I love this image. With most wedding pictures we see the typical rice throwing, doves flying and blissful couples skipping down the aisle. But here we have all the trappings of the traditional but with a meaningful twist. In the process of moving forward the couple’s natural reaction was to join hands and look back. As if to take a glance at how far they have come and to ensure their actions going forward are done jointly and in unison. Oh what an amazing symbol for a strong relationship. Let’s hear it for love!
I had the honor of photographing Bishop Arthur M. Brazier at one of his last appearances. I listened to this extraordinary man tell his story in a humble manner and I was overcome by the realization that I was witnessing history. But to watch history is to understand that we are also a part of it. And if the truly great ones, such as Bishop Brazier, have taught us anything it’s that we have an obligation to the future to make the most of everything that we have today. We are the story that will be told years from now.
This is one of the few elementary schools in Chicago with a music program. As a community, we are sending our babies to perform in second hand uniforms. Now consider that the dropout rate for African-Americans in Chicago is 45%; 54% for males and 36% for females. Meanwhile studies show that students who participate in the arts are more likely to achieve further down the road. When I hear the dropout rate statistics, I don’t think “What’s wrong with our kids?”. Instead, I look into the faces of these bandmembers and wonder “What’s wrong with us for letting them down.”