Jonathan Goins standing in front of Goinstown Indian School, 2016. All rights reserved.
I want to share a few sentences from an interview with Jonathan Goins who is one of dozens of people I’ve included in my upcoming “People and their People” exhibit opening in Baltimore next weekend. He’s referring in part to the discrimination past generations of his family endured because of their mixed roots:
“But I look at it now as moving forward. And part of that moving forward is those people are gone that hurt us. But we’re still here. And we’ve got to live through every bit of this. And we’ve got to grow. We’ve got to stand tall of who that we are.”
I am thrilled to say “People and their People:Holding our Ancestors Close” will be on exhibit at the Baltimore American Indian Center through June of 2018. The opening reception is Saturday, October 7th. See details below. In finalizing the exhibit, and preparing my artist’s talk, I had the task of going back through many hours of audio and video recordings, and my scribbled notes in field notebooks. For each portrait that I display I include a few short paragraphs from the stories I’ve collected. As much as I love the portraits I’ve taken, I may love the stories even more.
For the exhibit the portraits are printed 30 inches by 20 inches and each one in the series shows an individual or family grouping holding portraits of their ancestors. All rights reserved.
I want to thank Jonathan, and many others who’ve been willing to be part of this project. You can read more about it at www.peopleandtheirpeople.com In a time when the leadership of this country might be all too happy to try to divide us along racial lines, these portraits speak loudly otherwise. At least I believe they do.
If you live in or around Baltimore, I’d be thrilled if you join me next Saturday afternoon. I’ll speak at 3:00 pm.
This is Albert Rascoe holding a photograph of his Mother, Fannie Williams. Albert, as you can see is a Veteran, so I’m posting this in honor of Veterans Day. I photographed Mr. Rascoe as part of my ongoing portrait project “People and their People.” While it grew out of a deep interest in people with mixed ethnicity, I have since expanded the concept to include groups of people who are bonded by place, or by circumstance. More on that in later posts as I’m still hard at work on it all. There is an exhibition of the portraits beginning November 17th and running through December 4th at the Museum and Archives of Rockingham County.
Each time I photograph someone for this project I ask them to tell me a story about the ancestor they chose to include. Here’s part of Albert Rascoe’s story: He’s holding a photograph taken in 1967 when he returned from his service in Vietnam. His Mother is wearing a kimono he bought for her in Japan. Pictured is the car he purchased after he returned. It’s a 1963 Ford Fairlane convertible. Mr. Rascoe was born and lived in Hamilton, NC until he moved his wife and daughter to Raleigh in the 1970s. He stayed in Raleigh, until he returned to Hamilton in 2007 to help care for his ailing Mother.
He is standing in the school yard of the historic Rosenwald School in Hamilton, NC, where both he and his Mother attended. The Rosenwald School is currently in restoration by the Roanoke River Partners to be used as community center and interpretive site.
This photograph shows Albert Rascoe holding a school portrait of himself from his days at the Rosenwald School.