“That picture was taken during the Sikh day parade. He was one of the first people I photographed. He’s a computer IT specialist. He travels a lot. Sikhs at the time were being randomly selected for security. I wish people would just say “you have that thing on your hand and we aren’t sure what it is” instead telling someone they are randomly selected. One time he wore the shirt through security and the guard chuckled. It’s a way of loading off steam at the reality that people have to face.
When the tragedy first happened, my heart sunk. A time frame is a time frame. The pictures have been out there. I wasn’t thinking that people need to see this. When I was speaking to the Sikh Coalition, I was thinking this is the perfect time for people to see them because they wouldn’t just see the suffering but see the positive things. I had this vision of how I wanted these pictures to look. I’m not creating a false environment; I want to portray the positive images not in crisis and in mourning. Those types of pictures are important. But I want people to understand the vibrancy of this community.”
This is part of that (1)ne Drop photo documentary (the video about it is on my blog). Definitely one of the most powerful images in the group. (And this is obvious evidence of why I was so intrigued…)
This is a quote from the girl in the picture that they share on the website:
“A lot of people just look and see skin color. I’ve actually had people ask me was I Black or was I White first. A White gentleman came up to me and said ‘I thought you might be White, but then I saw your lips.’ One girl said to me ‘I’ve been wanting to ask you this question, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking you because I thought that you might be offended, but are you Black or are you White?’ And I was just like, ‘Well, I’m always Black.’ When we were done with the meat of the conversation, she laughed and said something about my hair and my butt gave it away. People definitely let you know that they view being Black as being very literal – the amount of pigment you have. ‘Your skin is White, therefore you’re White. Or are you?’