The month of February in the United States is Black History Month and it was not something I had remembered until a colleague had brought this fact to my attention when she showed me some images of a campaign which captures children channeling noted individuals from the past and present through photography.
We scrolled through the pages with the inevitable “awwwww’s” and admirable laughter, however as we went through these adorable yet significantly powerful images, a few things became oh-so clear.
- Some of the images represented trail blazers we did not even know existed such as Don Thompson (President and CEO of McDonalds), or Dr. Alexa Canady (First female African-American Neurosurgeon).
- There is no way that Black History can be crammed into one month (February in the US and October in the UK).
- We wanted to support this photographer’s fabulous and contemporary efforts to revere so many positive images.
The photographer, Eunique Jones developed this ‘Because of Them We Can’ project with the intention of shooting 28 photographs for each day during the month of February, yet she too realised that black history was way too rich with such strong spirits to suppress it into one month.
This was also felt by her growing number of fans who urged her to keep taking the photographs to populate what has become an on-going photography campaign.
Thanks to the world-wide web this campaign has gone viral and caught the attention of some of the people represented as miniature versions of themselves. Kerry Washington tweeted her appreciation and Spike Lee requested a signed copy from the photographer of his own “image”.
This campaign is valuable in that it shines a light on innovators, inventors, hard-working and ambitious people through their young “descendents”. As it did with my colleague and I, this campaign will also encourage many to Google who some of these people are and research their achievements (educate), it will encourage us to share at least some of these groundbreaking historical facts with others, it will lead to children asking questions of who these people are and open up the opportunity to expand their own knowledge and motivation to be just as valuable as those in these photographs.
The full catalogue of Photographs can be found and purchased as a book, posters or calendars http://www.becauseofthemwecan.com
I wanted to post my top 10 from the collection of photographs but there were too many to choose from so in no particular order, here are my top 12. *smile*