This week, we’re starting a series of features from incredible Black film photographers and their documentation of the Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country.
These images were captured by Simaloi Leina in Seattle, Washington. Here are some powerful words from Simaloi, written the day of the protests…
I spent my day today peacefully protesting for black lives.
The more I said “black lives matter,” the more those words lost value to me as a black woman for I already know I matter. It was a difficult statement to shout repeatedly because, for heaven’s sake, why don’t we matter yet?
Why are these institutions still built with such embedded racism in them to the core? I truly can’t wrap my head around certain actions I have witnessed in the last couple of weeks. I’m slowly growing numb to this pain and that is scary to me. These are horrific acts.
If you truly don’t see me as human or past the color of my skin or even as a threat, I believe you are the inhuman one.
If you see black men as beasts, maybe you are the beast because you are the only one seeming to see that in other people.
Listen to your black mates for this is a devastating time. The social contract has been broken by those we hold at such a high esteem and believe should protect us. Nonetheless, I still keep hope burning in my heart that the future of those who will come ahead of me will be better than this.
As you march, remember, it is a chance for black people to lament their pain! Let them lead in that grief. Be gentle and kind. This is an unbearable pain to carry in the middle of a pandemic.
Our strength, joy, love, and happiness is still here to stay.
Analog cameras and films used: Canon AE-1 | Kodak Portra 900, Kodak TMax 400