Here, 67 DC-area photographers help to share the story of Black Lives Matter protests.
Mark D. Caicedo
The Lincoln Memorial a week apart: 5/30 and 6/6
The march Saturday began at the Lincoln Memorial. But before it became motion, speakers on the steps passed the bullhorn to each other. Stories, songs, and poems were shared.
What hit home hardest to THIS observer was the relaying of ‘the talk’. And not the birds-and-the-bees talk.
The TALK that they got at around 11 years old. About what they would face growing up that white people would not. What *I* did not. The telling was genuine, emotional, and of course to me, foreign. It was relayed by people who sounded like they’d never shared the experience with those of another race. But they shared it with us.
Then we prayed. Touching the shoulder of a stranger.
(Instagram: @dyfaphoto; Website; YouTube)
A young boy selling cold water in grocery carts on Pennsylvania Ave. yells in frustration that no one is buying his water. You can feel his energy and hear the loudness of his cry, which reminded me of the fervor of protesters chanting through the fences at Lafayette Square. There is an aspect of hopelessness and desperation I felt in the kid’s gesture, which echoed in the protesters who seem to yell into the wind, being ignored as nothing more than a passing voice by our government.
The size of the person does not determine the size of their voice, and this person’s voice is huge. This is a brief moment where she rested, catching her breath, and prepared to lead the crowd again. Documenting the protests over the last few weeks has shown me that this cause is not just anger and pain or hope and resilience, but all and all at once. I picked this one because it feels like frustration and anger, hope and determination.
On Monday afternoon, June 8, a march for justice took place from UDC to Woodley Park on Connecticut Ave. I’ve attended most of the protest marches held in DC over the past 3.5 years, but due to the pandemic I opted to stay at home during the large gatherings. I live on Connecticut Ave. and when I learned of this march, I was finally able to join in the protest (for a block-long walk), capturing a few moments along the way.
This photo from Saturday’s protest struck me as completely surreal. If I saw this a year ago, I’d think it was a still from a Idiocracy. So much happening here — the Treasury Department is covered in graffiti and protected by a fence, concrete barriers, and guards. And here comes a pedicab carrying masked protesters. Looking at this photo, you wonder what happened to America.
An unknown branch of Special Police formed a line to prevent peaceful protesters from advancing into a blocked off area of downtown. An outside agitator walked the line, very close to their faces screaming profanities, and trying to provoke violence. Fortunately neither the Special Police nor the protestors took the bait.
Micheal Hill Sr.
Larry L. Holmes
The day’s protest at the newly christened “Black Lives Matter Plaza” in front of the newly fenced off White House was a beautiful example of peaceful protesting that encompassed singing, dancing, laughing, crying, and remembering.
Please consider signing up for the Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition. She was an award winning EMT and worked at TWO hospitals as an essential employee during the pandemic. About a month ago, Louisville cops performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. Not a single officer announced himself before ramming down the door before firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her. Not only were police at the WRONG HOUSE, but the guy they were looking for was already arrested earlier that day. The cops who murdered her STILL haven’t been charged with anything. This photo was captured on what would’ve been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday.
Instagram: @steviejrphotography. Website https://steviejrphoto.000webhostapp.com/
(Morgan’s 500px site)
Police were shooting tear gas balls at the crowd with its hands up. The excuse the police used was they were being hit with “projectiles.” The projectiles were empty water bottles thrown by a few white agitators, who were shouted down by real protesters.
I believe a lot of photos speak for themselves and this is one. It was taken at a peaceful march that was almost all families including infants, children, teenagers and parents. Here, a recent father marches with his two young children in a stroller, one sitting stern and upright, holding a sign that says “I’m black and I’m proud.” The father, holding a sign that says “I am not a threat.”
Rachel Spicknall Mulford
Evening of Sunday June 7th at the US Capitol. It was my only day at the protests. As a small crowd stood at the fence facing the Capitol Police, after the call and response from the protest leaders stopped, there was a poignant calm and then some conversations (mostly one sided) between protesters and the police. I kept thinking with sorrow about the contrast with events during the prior week. I felt a little awkward about asking if I could take someone’s photo but also encouraged because several people had taken photos of my sign that day. And I had to capture that sunset light! The signs by @_tshantell and @jeanicereed spoke to me personally. Glad I asked them and nabbed a photo.
Daniel Scott Ruben
(Instagram: @dsrubenphotography; Website)
I saw this man in the crowd at the White House, Friday, June 5, at about 6:00pm. A recording of a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech was being broadcast over loud speakers along Black Lives Matter Plaza. As I was working my way through the crowd, my eyes saw the struggle of a young man, wildly displaying proud colors of our nation, yet torn by the truths that lay before him—prejudice. I held my lens and directed it towards him. He expressed emotions through body language and his eyes spoke fiercely. So much emotion pouring out of this young, proud man. I am grateful to have been able to capture this special moment.
June 2: On H St. and Vermont, a line of police officers form a barricade corralling in protestors in front of Lafayette Square. The crowd of protestors have been yelling a variety of statements at officers. These officers react when a protestor calls out the officer in the middle for smiling/smirking at what another protestor was yelling. Officer on the right side of the image warns the protestor not to provoke.
As a society, we tend to showcase protesters with witty signs and catchy chants. But people of all stripes are upset by how our society is treating people. This man believed in simply holding up a sign with a straightforward message. In this picture, I tried to capture his quiet strength.
I took this photo during a peaceful march from the Washington monument to Lincoln memorial for a vigil in memory of George Floyd. While the monument appears to dominate, the crowd of people gathered at its base give a sense of collective strength and optimism. The many moments of peace and resilience have dominated the protests in the city in spite of some unrest. It has been very inspiring to see the energy and spirit at these protests, with a large number of people out on the streets, of all colors and ages to fight for racial justice and change, and hoping for a brighter future.
We live on a helicopter path and frequently hear them outside our apartment, but the sound this one made coming over our roof was the loudest I’ve ever heard, like it could have torn the roof off our building. It was scary, especially when I saw how many people were armed on board.
(Instagram: @chantale1; Website)
Photo taken Saturday June 6 in Black Lives Matter Plaza, where thousands of people come together to march against racial injustice and the continued senseless killing of George Floyd and many thousands of black people suffered at the hands of police brutality. It is indeed an inflection point in our nation’s history where marches like this in our Nation’s Capital, are not only happening in hundreds of cities all over the US but also in Sweden, England, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Senegal, Denmark, Scotland, South Korea, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Australia, Poland, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Canada, and Germany.