January 2019
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The Lives of Black Folks

You might have noticed a decrease in posts over the past few months. That’s because this summer I spent several weeks working on a series of radio documentaries about the history and experiences of people in color in Germany and Poland thanks to a Holbrooke Fellowship from the International Center for Journalists.

Today the first of these three documentaries airs of KSFR Santa Fe on Here and There, hosted by Dave Marash at 5:05 p.m. Mountain Time/7:05 p.m. Eastern Time and you’ll be able to listen to the podcast of each show here. Following each of the documentaries Dave and I talk about what I found and expand upon the profound stories that each of my interview subjects shared. In total I interviewed over three dozen people for these reports and while many people’s stories didn’t make it to air I know I learned from everyone I spoke to and I thank them deeply.

Thomas Hurst for example spoke about the mental health impact of growing up biracial in Germany had on him.

Afro-German Thomas Hurst stands in front of a section of the old Berlin Wall.

“I believe there is some post traumatic stress syndrome as a part of growing up in Germany. You never know if you can go through the day without any racism. I really believe I do have some mental problems a part of racism.”

Fashion designer Tanja Herring at a show.

Fashion designer Tanja Herring spoke about a multi-generational struggle for acceptance.

“I would say I’m nation-less. The Blacks don’t really accept you because you’re too light and the white people say ‘no you’re too dark for us’…. You always feel kind of lonely.”

These are just a few of the stories you’ll hear today. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

One Year Later…

Jimmie and I

It’s been a year since I donated my kidney to my best friend and I feel better than ever! The first few weeks of recovery were intense but since then I’ve been able to run a half marathon and get back to work on my project The Europeans.

Having been through the process I really encourage you to look into become a living donor. The gift of life is the biggest opportunity we have to make a difference in someone else’s life. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to help a good friend and it changed my life as well as his.

After the Aftermath

Never forget is one of those tiresome tropes that we mutter when we’re still in the shock of disbelief and struggling with our pain. But time moves on and we do forget. But for those who lived through Hurricane Katrina ten years ago they don’t have the same luxury we do.

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in New Orleans but the city and it’s people are worthy not just of our good wishes but of our help and our love.

New Euro Order

The events of the past few days may or may not be remembered as a turning point. The truth is no one knows how things will turn out. What we do know is that the Greek people have voted for a fairer settlement and that the ball is now in the court of Europe’s leaders.

“Those who want to chase Greece out of the Eurozone today will end up on the trash heap of history. If the Chancellor wants to secure her place in the history books, just like [Helmut] Kohl did during reunification, then she must forge a solution to the Greek question, including a debt conference where we can start with a clean slate.” said Thomas Piketty.

Berlin 2015

What Europe has been able to create over the last sixty years is nothing short of amazing. But that creation is very easy to destroy. Now is not the time to look for someone to blame. Rather Europe must pull back from the brink and remember that it is both more than the some of its parts and stronger together than it is apart.

Done and Dusted

A strange thing to come across near a city center.

But you’ll find the strangest things if you just take a long walk.

Galway, Ireland.

The Dividing Line

I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe in many different places. But it surprised me that I didn’t feel more at home in one of the few English speaking nations I’ve been to.

Odds and Ends

Traveling to Ireland last month reminded me not to place to many expectations on the places that I visit.

I always have to fight to leave myself open to what chance has to offer.

Death By Camera

I was in Dublin entering the Gallery of Photography when this gentleman asked if I was a photographer. When I answered in the affirmative he asked if I could take his picture.

Performance. Artist?

I didn’t, and still don’t know, exactly why David Drennan wanted me to take his photograph with this book, posed in the way that he did.

The nature of street photography is giving yourself the chance to have these random encounters.

Free and Equal

Ireland became the first nation to approve marriage equality in a popular vote.

But as much as a victory as the vote was, Ireland is still fighting to ensure that all of its citizens can have full control over their lives.

The fight continues…

The Streets Are Our Canvas

There is some great street art in Ireland.

And I enjoyed a lot of it!

Small Town, Big World

I spent a lot of time in Buncrana which is a very small town.

Betting parlor. Buncrana, Ireland.

Which meant I had to switch gears and slow things down.

Which is not a bad thing.

Place and Name

Being in the North of Ireland meant spending some time in Northern Ireland.

So close and yet so far away…

History surrounds us here.

Memorial

The North

I spent most of my time in Donegal which is pretty far north and fairly rural.

As a city boy I’m not used to all that open space but I did enjoy it.

And yes, it was very, very green.

But there was some blue as well.

Fantasy Island

I spent over three weeks in Ireland and was quite busy. I opened an exhibition, participated in a panel discussion and did two workshops.

But I didn’t feel like I took as many images as I wanted to.

Performance artist Rebecca Strain in Derry.

Memory is a funny thing because when I looked through my images I found plenty and I’ll be sharing them with you over the next days.

Local Youths. Buncrana, Ireland.

The Great Debate

Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday for our exciting discussion up at Fort Dunree!

You can listen to what went on below.

Let’s hear what you have to say!