reflections on FAITH
“And there were the churches, big ones, little and middle-sized ones scattered among the taverns, butcher shops and mortuaries. On Sunday mornings I turned my camera on those ardently religious folks as they went, in their Sunday best, to the store-front Bethels, God in Christs, African Methodists and Pilgrim Baptists that they kept going with pennies, nickels and dimes. ‘Religion is all we got left,’ an old missionary woman told me one day. I had asked her to pose for me, and she stood, a little white bonnet perched on top of her head, a Bible under her arm, looking into my camera.”
—Gordon Parks in A Choice of Weapons, 1966.
“Early on, I was taught by my wise elders to walk with confidence and faith. Danger was always lurking around; for it was a concrete jungle full of predators and those they preyed on. In addition, I was grounded in my love for the people and my strong and sincere desire to inspire change in the various communities I would venture into.
In time, many I would encounter would know me to be a righteous or good brother—a title that garnered a degree of respect, thus enabling me to make most people feel comfortable enough for me to document their existence.”
—Jamel Shabazz in “Interview with Street Photographer Jamel Shabazz” by Curtis Caesar John, BoldAsLove.us, August 1, 2013.