We can all do extraordinary things, especially during times of adversity and difficulty. To put it bluntly, the black community in America is under siege, and they have been for far too long. As a white person, I cannot even begin to comprehend the challenges that the black community faces on a daily basis. What I can do is extend my hand, my help, my support, and my voice.
I learned about the We Love You Project from Vanessa Ford, who will be one of the first two guests, along with her husband JR, on the Breaking Bread Podcast. I have about a million and one questions to ask them and one of the topics I can’t wait to dive into is their activism on so many fronts including race, supporting the local communities where we work and live, LGBTQ, and the challenges and triumphs in education, health, and food equity. We may need to do a multi-part series just to hear all of the interesting conversation.
One project that they recently participated in is the We Love You Project. Started by Bryon Summers, its message is powerful and elegant:
“A simple but powerful reassurance to our black boys and men that even though it feels like they are being murdered and destroyed constantly, we’re still a part of a larger community that loves and supports them.
The images we see in main stream media depict us as less than human – thugs, suspects, and even more, dead and discarded. These are the images that brainwash us into believing there is truth behind them. We’re not worthless. We’re not trash. We’re someone’s son, brother, cousin, uncle, or father. We’re HUMAN!
Through the art of photography we can see just how human and how special we really are. Images can be powerful reinforcements. They can be examples of who we are and aspire to be. WE LOVE YOU, will share portraits of the Black boys and men in our communities showing each other as well as the world that we’re not only human and should be treated as such but we’re LOVED.”
It sent a shiver down my spine to read this mission. It is so needed, especially right now. So far, the project has taken place in New York and D.C. I hope to have Bryon on a future episode of the Breaking Bread Podcast. For now, I’m thrilled to use my blog and other social media channels to support and praise his work!