“History repeats itself” is a truism almost as old as history itself, and for a good reason. Patterns established early seem to absorb into the psyche of humanity for generations to come, playing out in societies repeatedly. America’s original sin, slavery, was embedded in our Constitution in a coded way, for the word never appeared there, yet the horrific practice was made lawful.
This constitutionally established racism still runs its course today: witnessed, recorded, and streamed to the public. The police violence has gone viral, again. This year, it’s the 8 minutes and 46 seconds of police brutality inflicted on George Floyd, caught on film by a 17-year-old girl, resulting in the occupation of the streets of America — by the protesters calling for justice. A perfect storm of politics, racism, and the pandemic.
As the protests progressed, I photographed the local Boston area movement on monochrome film, paying homage to the civil rights movement era and its documentary legacy. In doing so, I felt hopeful seeing the forward-looking youth taking charge of the streets, to make a positive change.