Black Lives Matter demonstration in LA

Celebrating Humanity by Documenting Black Lives Matter

When people were taking to the streets in Los Angeles for Black Lives Matter, I wanted to do everything I could to support this movement. It felt like this was a moment to step in and be a photojournalist, something I’ve never pursued professionally but felt called to do at this pivotal moment in human history.

When I was a photography student at the Art Academy, I took a year off to apprentice with a master photographer. One of his portfolios was from when he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the sixties during the Civil Rights movement. The images touched me. The images changed me. I could truly feel the human beings he made portraits of. He did a phenomenal job. This was thirty years ago and the photographs were made close to sixty years ago. And, today, when I look at some of the images coming through my camera, they sadly look very familiar to what he captured.

My work has always been about celebrating all of humanity in pursuit of living our greatest potential. As an artist, I was using the language of yoga asana to tell this story. To go from photographing yoga to photographing this movement feels very natural to me — human beings demonstrating on the streets with their arms up in power, reaching. Yoga philosophy teaches us that we are all the same; yet reality is not a reflection of that. And now we are fighting for it.

These are a selection of images from the Black Lives Matter demonstrations throughout the streets of LA. People of different backgrounds coming together to reach for a better future. To use our voices to move civil rights forward. A single photograph has the power to change the world. And an image is much more than a documentation of a moment in time—it is the expression of an idea with the potential to evoke emotion in an audience and imprint a lasting memory into the collective consciousness.

Photos Documenting Black Lives Matter Demonstrations in LA

 

demonstrators in LA on top of a bus stop

This group of protestors on top of bus stop in downtown LA show the dedication of people for human rights.

 

 

people with BLM signs in an LA neighborhood

Suburban America has taken to the streets as well.
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This took place Friday afternoon in a Los Angeles neighborhood in which thousands of cars typically travel through during rush hour. I was headed to downtown and saw this scene and pulled over and waited for them to pass and made the photograph. Up ahead, there were hundreds of families with signs, enthusiastically showing support and adding to the fierce momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

people making speeches in front of city Hall in LA

Powerful, eloquent, passionate, intelligent, heartbroken, grieving, beautiful human beings. This is America’s moment to FINALLY create REAL equality, once and for all. . .

They are leaders demanding justice and a better life for themselves and their children, on what would have been the 27th birthday of Breonna Taylor.

City Hall ~ Los Angeles

people marching through LA for Black Lives Matter

The energy of the movement is revealed as people march through the streets on the way to City Hall in LA.

 

protestors and national guard

I believe Picasso described it perfectly many decades ago and close to a century ago:
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“It is my wish at this time to remind you that I have always believed, and still believe, that artists who live and work with spiritual values cannot and should not remain indifferent to a conflict in which the highest values of humanity are at stake.”
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I have to confess, it had been many years since I went on this kind of public assignment and there’s a getting used to it period. Unfortunately, too much was going on for me to learn this peaceful protesters name. I shared a moment in the chaos with her as we looked into each other’s eyes. Her eyes, cross, and flowers drew me to her.

Downtown Los Angeles 

protestors at BLM demonstrations

As I look through the images, it’s all becoming so clear. And it’s the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witnessed. Let is break us so that were may begin.
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Hollywood Blvd

protestors at BLM

Many people are representing and showing up in solidarity.

 

Muslims for BLM

Representing for the BLM Movement.

 

demonstrators walking to City Hall in LA

Demonstrators walking to City Hall in LA. The man on the bike is from Rwanda. He has seen his share of war and conflict and is showing up for justice and peace.

 

Black Culture Saved My Life

Representing with respect.

 

Demonstrators with signs

No. But I’ve traveled this country extensively. And I know what’s out there. Here we are — these photographs could be from 1963.

Hollywood, California

Sign with Jusitica

Human rights for all in front of City Hall in Los Angeles.

 

demonstrators in cars

It’s hard to believe I made these photographs yesterday. The Civil Rights Movement began in 1954

Hollywood, California

demonstrators in cars on the streets of LA

Hollywood, California