The inception of The Letter began two years ago, when I was given a class assignment to go out into the streets of Atlanta and document my experience on the bus. At first, I was very resistant to my professor’s request. I was new to Atlanta and stuck in my way of making photographs. However, it was just the push I needed to expand myself as a photographer.
After returning from the bus ride, I noticed that there was a pattern in the pictures I had made. They were all portraits of black men that I had seen along the way. Subconsciously, I was drawn to them with no clue why, but soon realized that most of my life and development had been influenced by black men, such as my father, brother, cousins, teachers, pastors and life-long friends.
They were all people who meant a lot to me, so having them reoccur in my work was not unnatural after all. What first seemed like a tribute to the black men in my life soon developed into an ongoing advocacy on their behalf. I made the choice to continue pursuing the theme and honor black men by showing them at their best, which included addressing stereotypes that they have been subject to over the years.