Pow! Straight to the Moon!

By odd coincidence, one of the last photographs I shot was of a graphic treatment of the acclaimed 2009 science fiction film, Moon.

That’s right: I said “last photograph.” On Sunday, September 21st, my Nikon DSLR camera was stolen, along with all my lenses and peripherals—a total value of some $2200, uninsured and unreplaceable. This not only constitutes a mortal blow to my ability to take riveting images, it also takes away my livelihood. But instead of giving in to despair, I’ve decided to make this page to ask for help.

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I approached the scene of a scarred, burned-up wall on the site of the former Motor City Mattress Company in Inkster, Michigan knowing only that its textures were inviting me in. Inkster is a predominantly black suburb west of Detroit that has fallen on hard times. Like its bigger neighbor, it has suffered from its share of vacant properties and urban blight. The Motor City Mattress Company, on the city’s central Michigan Avenue, was a recent sign of this decay, closing in 2011. Apparently, it was in the midst of liquidating what it had left when it was hit by a fire in January, 2012. Continue reading

Odd Fellows Rest

Images from an impromptu visit to Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in New Orleans, established by a benevolent society in 1849. Because it was technically outside the city limits when it was built, it was one of the few places where African-Americans could purchase plots, which were otherwise denied to them. It is therefore one of the few of the above-ground cemeteries to house the resting places of both black and white people, side by side.

Sadly, the cemetery has been vandalized a number of times through the years, and has seen better days. Perhaps by means of photos such as these, more attention and help will come to secure the long-term survival of the Odd Fellows Rest for many years to come.

Ole & Nu Style Fellas Social Aid & Pleasure Club 2013 Second Line Parade

A few images from a wild second line parade I attended in April, 2013 in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans.

Second line parades are one of the most visible, colorful parts of the real New Orleans experience. For the black communities they bring together, they are first and foremost a celebration of an old clamorous African spirit that imbues the city and its history. They are also living reminders of the resilience and persistence of African-descended culture, which carries even more weight after the trials and tribulations of the post-Katrina mayhem. Continue reading