shades of black

shades of black // black history month x collective blue

Sometimes I struggle with Black History Month as a black man. I find it beautiful that year after year a nation decides to pay homage to a people who shaped and transformed the American experience in each of its generations. My struggle comes from a lack of understanding. I wonder at times, do my peers get the point or is it just another year to review historical figures (insert fact about Rosa Parks, MLK or Malcolm X here)?

More importantly, do my peers understand the point of this month as it happens today?

javi gonzalez/collective blue

javi gonzalez/collective blue

History is made every day. Black History is made every day. Currently, the subtle awareness of the state of black people is almost always linked to some type of tragedy. I wonder if my peers could understand my pride.

This photo series is more than just some pretty pictures. This is a group who has a vast range of thought, ideas, and perspective.  These individuals represent their black skin in their own unique way. Showcasing the pride and heritage that comes with it. A heritage that was bestowed to them by each generation, who overcame the politics or societal view before them. This pride is as timeless as the land in which they stand.    

javi gonzalez/collective blue

javi gonzalez/collective blue

In these pictures you’ll find a parent, a revolutionist, a professional, a craftsman, an ally, an artist, a purist, and more. In these photos, you'll see the The Dedrick-Hamilton House--a house that has seen it all since being hand built by freed black people in 1880. This series is only a glimpse at the many shades of black and the far-reaching experiences that comes with being black in America.

Be sure to check the photo series out on Instagram (@collective_blue)!

Carlton Wilcoxson