I was at Lake Austin with a friend who had been going through something. Not a little something, but a series of significant “somethings”. When we arrived, we went our separate ways. Me, to take pictures and her, well she told me later, to have a talk with God. When she saw this photo, she told me it was at this moment that she made peace with her challenges and decided to lay her troubles down. I think it’s ironic that nature surrounds her as if to say “I am bigger than your problems”. Sometimes we need to remember that.
Each year 3.5M people will experience homelessness. 1.5M will be children. For the last two years, I’ve provided free family portraits at a shelter for women and children. What struck me about the women was their normalcy. They could be our mothers, our sisters, our girlfriends. They are caring for their children in circumstances that would make most of us crumble. The media shows us images that make it easy for us to demonize them. I’ve been with them and know they are human. This is the face of homelessness. And we should take a closer look at the issue.
This week’s picture is a myth-buster. It shatters the myth of “There are no good Black men” or “Black men aren’t taking care of their kids”.
This is my brother and his sons. He’s not a “boss” or a “balla”. He’s a black man that goes to work everyday and comes home to spend quality time with his wife and kids. When I said, “Go stand by Daddy, I want to take a picture” this is the position all three naturally assumed. Black men taking care of home are proud of their families and their children love them for it.