America, I am not your enemy. I am a creator. An artist. An educator and scholar. A lover of community. A beautifully brown-skinned human created in the image and likeness of the Most High.
America, I am here.
America, I want to live without feeling like I need to alter or present myself to be accepted.
America, I am a multi-racial black man. I’ve lived in communities occupied only by black people who look like me. But I’ve also lived in communities where I’ve been the underwhelming minority. I am married. My wife is European American. We have a multi-racial daughter. I am 6’5 and 260 lbs, so I am easily viewed as a threat. If you only knew that the real threat I pose to you is with my intellect and not my stature. I am loved by God and I know He loves me. And you should to. Because my life matters.
on saturday 6.6.2020, fifteen black men documentary joined photographer raygen samone in a community art project that serves as a peaceful protest to honor, humanize and dignify the image of black men in minneapolis.
the images will be sold in multiple mediums to generate a profit that will become a cycle of black love: the groundwork of black men will fund the experience for black women that will fund the experience for black sons, that will fund the experience for black daughters.
America, I am the King, the Warrior, and the Spear: I am sharp and I will fight, because I am the ruler of my own destiny.
America, I want to love you.
America, I love you. I will not be drowned by the water in which you baptize your hypocrisy. Your hatred fuels my love.
DEAR BLACK MAN -
"You are made in the image of your creator. Always, and in all ways engage the world with that truth in mind."
"Tough times don't last, tough people do."
"Your death is not for promotion. Is not for white tears. It is worth a riot & a half. Don’t let them silence our frustration over our body."
"We are the future."
"Walk the words of our ancestors, speak the words of our people, and live to fight another day."
"We will overcome."
"Be proud of yourself and make a difference in the world. Be happy and grateful for every opportunity and keep a smile on your face. Grow into the best version of you."
"We see you, We are you, and We stand beside you."
"We love you."
-raygen samone's gentlemen | josh, terrence, brandon, ramsey, daniel, joe, gaelin, tyler, godfrey, chris, makal, rod, francis, stacey, elisha + amiri