Ken West My Peoples

Ken West

Ken West responds to the My Peoples brief.

Share an image and commentary in response to these Jazzy Jeff lyrics:

My people who were made to endure
My peoples all shapes and colours
My peoples got more peoples with them
That’s more peoples, more sisters and brothers

My people stay strong as an ox
My peoples will never fail
My peoples will always remain
Remain with a story to tell

Ken responds

About four years ago I was on a photo walk in downtown Atlanta. I came to an intersection and across the street I see this brother walking with the unmistakable bop of a free man carrying a little girl.

When he got to my side of the street, I complimented him on his clear adoration for his daughter. He smiled and simply agreed. He went on to explain that just about fifteen minutes earlier he had just been released after a lengthy detention and his sole prize was getting to hold his daughter.

This moment resonated with me because it was so saturated with love from a source that society says is irreparably barren and caustic. I love this image because the conqueror wants us to not realize that the love that dwells in the heart of the conquered is more pure and unadulterated than anything we’ve been sold or told.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

About Ken West

Ken West is an award-winning, Atlanta-based fine art photographer with a preoccupation with the mundane.

You can find his highly recommended book, The Beauty of Everyday Thangs on his website. You can also connect with him on Instagram and Twitter.

Take part in the My Peoples Project

The project is open to Black photographers of all ages, genders and genres.