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  • Writer's picturekpphoto25

I drove past a BLM protest and had to stop. It wasn't what I expected.

I've always had an itch for photojournalism and street photography but as a fairly timid person, well, that makes you not the go getter when it comes to strangers and taking photos of them without asking them to say "cheeeeeeese". I was on my way home from visiting a friend and I overheard someone saying that there was an active protest about to happen in the next town over. Well, that town is the one I had to pass thru on my way home. At first I thought to myself, "maybe I should take a different route". In my mind from watching the news and reading reports on social media, I have come to the conclusion that protest are full of danger and hate.

Danger is present in some but not all. I'm sure hate is too in certain environments. As for this protest, I seen none of that. It was full of people taking turns speaking on a megaphone. Some of them were angry, some of them were sad, some of them cussed like a sailor, but none of them were causing trouble. The only person that I witnessed causing trouble was a man in a lifted truck with a Trump flag who was honking his horn and revving his engine to try to get attention or to drown out the protestors. Granted, this was in a small semi rural town in southern Ohio.

I have had a few viewpoints on this recent kind of event that were formed from nothing more than media driven information. Why do I assume that BLM protest are hostile? The media. Why do I assume that BLM protest are just far left wing people? The media. After having feet on the ground and eyes on the environment I soon realized........this is just a group of like minded individuals. Regardless of what I or anyone else thinks, there is no denying the energy in the crowd. You could literally feel it permeating around. It reminded me of some of the concerts I've been to over the years. That feeling that passes over the crowd as the singer belts out a rockin' chorus. The chorus to this song is to end racism and police brutality.

I hope that people can come together and meet somewhere in the middle one of these days. Basic human rights should not be a political game. Who you vote for shouldn't influence an issue of society. It seems that if you are left then you support one set of rules only and if you are right you support another. Just in this one protest I witnessed the opposite. I watched an obvious right wing man with an open carry pistol handing out water to protesters of every color. I bumped fist with a black man documenting the day with a nice Canon DSLR. We had small talk over cameras in the middle of a protest(common interest makes us all forget about our surroundings). There was only one color at this protest and the color was HUMAN. Aside from the jackass in the lifted truck, everyone was accepting of each other.

Below are the remaining photos from the day. I feel like I should attend another protest soon to document this moment in history. There is a certain feeling a powerful shot can give. It is real, it is raw. It will never happen again and it is important to capture it for the future eyes to see.


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