Everything is bigger in Texas. Here’s my list so far: stars, roaches, Walmart, and the degrees of temperature. Man, I know its been a long time coming. I haven’t updated my blog in forever. Ill be the first (and only) one to apologize for the long layoff. As a testament to my newfound commitment, I am going to attempt this 30 post in 30 days feet. I will post a new blog (blog, not necessarily photograph although its my goal) everyday for the next 30 days. (more…)
“What do you think?” asked a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. who stopped me as I walked up to the balcony. I hesitated to field her question because I was ready to finish watching the Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) perform their step routine, which was drawing incredible applause from the crowd at the Atlanta Civic Center.
This young lady was convinced that the first National Sprite Step Off competition was rigged, that ZTA was drawing all of their excitement simply because they were white. So as I contemplated my answer, I knew the truth wouldn’t be well received.
“It’s a step show,” I responded, “and as long as you realize that stepping is all about promotion and recruitment, then it doesn’t really matter if they win or lose.” She quickly responded, “No, I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta baby, we don’t recruit. If they let these white girls win, I’m turning in my membership card!”
My first thought was “so… you’re telling me that a sorority, which is the largest of the Divine Nine Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) with a surplus of 350,000 members, does not recruit? Not one member?!” My second thought came two hours later. “I hope the DST membership office gets that young lady’s card like she promised.” (more…)
I didnt do anything I was supposed to do this weekend. I am at the point now where a year of school straight with only a weekend long break is starting to get to me. Thanksgiving can’t come fast enough. So I decided to do nothing this weekend. Nothing but photograph something I love: women. I love women. I especially love Black women, so I decided to surround myself with their beauty, poise, and elegance this weekend at the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant and the Miss Africa Mizzou pageant.
While eating dinner with Joe McNally last week, we discussed one of my favorite photographers, Gordon Parks. McNally explained to me that many dont remember that Parks was a great fashion Photographer as well as a documentary photographer. “Mainly because he adored women,” Joe told me. Well Gordon, I wished I could have met you before you passed so I could get some of those moves from you. I had a great time at both of the competitions.
Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant was first introduced at the 1976 Alpha Phi Alpha national convention in New York city where contestant Denise Smith of Georgia State University won the first crown. Since 76, many regions sponsor scholarship pageant to provide financial support for young women in college. This past weekend, Miss Alpha Eta from the St. Louis ctiy-wide chapter won first place. I was in the dressing room before the event started and walked around taking some pre-pageant pictures and noticed Miss AH’s quiet attractiveness. She rocked the pageant, but it was an extremely close competition. All of the women did well and any of them could have got my first place vote. I love women. 🙂
To my knowledge, Miss Africa Mizzou is the first pageant our African Students Association has ever and and it was well-organized (shout out to Patricia Vewenda). I love women. 🙂 The Miss Africa Mizzou not only had beautiful women on stage, but also had plenty in the audience. Goodness. They were so fine. I had to harass my frat who has been holding out on me in this beautiful woman reserve. Thanks Andom. This traitor is in one of the pictures below with a beautiful woman. Ever heard of sharing brother? I love women. 🙂 There was one who especially caught my attention. I’m talking about I heard a combination of “Imagination” by Earth, Wind, and Fire and “African Queen” by 2Face Idibia when I saw her. This doesn’t happen to me often so its worthy of being put on blast on my blog. I love women. 🙂 My homegirl K-Kay Moore also participated and earned mad props from me as she personally created all the clothing she was wearing. She’s Miss Liberia in the images below.
I can go on and on about this topic but you can check out the images and you try to guess who my secret crush is. I love women. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration Gordon. enjoy.
Sure. The Sprite Step Off could have brought an artist like Drake to perform at the University of Missouri this weekend. They could have had more teams. They could have lowered the price of admission. Instead, Columbia, MO got a taste of a beautiful culture. What the Step Off did do is give people an opportunity to learn more about Black greeks, provide a (dare-I-say) CRACKIN’ Big Boi aka Daddy Fat Sacks aka Sir Luscious Left-foot concert, and give $4,500 to the local Boys and Girls club. There is so much I could respond to in this post, but Im so excited to know the true message of these events is being coupled with a national service effort. So, if you get mad about spending your $21.50 this weekend, just consider your cash a donation to the community you pollute. Thats right. If you’re not giving back, you’re polluting the environment you are in; socially, culturally, and academically. I sincerely hope Sprite will see fit to bring the event back to Columbia if they have another competition. I’m not saying the competition is old gold, but there is an opportunity to learn something here. Hope you like the images. 🙂
At 12:27PM in the blistering Tampa summer heat, the wheels on the bus stopped going round and round. Our bus, the Luxurious transportation vehicle it was, decided to go on strike on our second morning of the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) Student projects. We were headed to the Poynter Institute of Media Studies when we all felt the bus pull over to the side of the road. Now not to say that our trip didn’t start off rough; many missed their first flight to Tampa, others lost ALL of their luggage (or should i say the AIRLINE lost ALL of their luggage) and I almost killed myself trying to photograph two people on the bus when the safety latch on the big a$$ window gave away, almost leaving my camera and feet in the air.
So here we are, over 38 Black folk in this bus together, making each other hot, and wishing the other person would shut up to save some degrees on the bus. One by one we unloaded unable to stand the heat. So what do a bus full of NABJ members in a jacked up heat situation do? WE DOCUMENTED IT OF COURSE! 🙂 Still and video cameras were in the air, reporters were coming up with stand up material, we even had an unofficial report by my man Norris Kyles. NABJ Project coordinator Demorris Lee, being the great brother he is, took immediate action and packed us into his van group by group, transporting us to Poynter. I learned two very important things this episode: 1) Carry water with you everywhere you go in Tampa. 2) Always wear white cotton shirts underneath your dress shirts 🙂 (Fortunately I had another shirt. A lesson I learned last year.)
Poynter was great. Seeing a group of young, Black, and gifted students in one room is powerful. I would even say more powerful than UNITY last year in Chicago. I looked at my peers and saw unimaginable strength, resolve, and courage. It got me thinking about the future of Black press and begged the question why not US who saves and forever gives validity to the need of Black press? I would LOVE to work for EBONY, ESSENCE, JET, or BLACK ENTERPRISE. A concept I will revisit later in a blog entry.
Hours later, we boarded the bus to head back to the hotel…only, we didn’t make it to the convention center. The bus broke down…AGAIN!!!!! Lesson Three: History ALWAYS repeats itself. 🙂 Overall, I had a wonderful time in Tampa. I have met people who I call my friends, my brothers, my mentors, and have seen the strength of our struggle to keep hope alive in an industry which tells us to get out while we can in an industry that preaches empty concepts of diversity that have yet to reach the newsroom. I met multimillionaire football players and people who have lived on the street since 15. I met successful NABJ members running for president and people who pursue their first love as their career. I met the most destructive force in media consolidation and the prototype (Thanks 3000). I have had the pleasure of being blessed by personalities like Hoye, Ramses, Sampson, Kyles, Lyons, Walker, Flowers, Lee, the list goes on and on.
I am proud to be a part of this organization and love the things they do to keep young Black journalist like myself motivated to “Do the right thing”. To my peers: I love you all and pray you continue to the path of selflessness and greatness. To my mentors: thank you for keeping me honest, humble, and hungry. To the young professionals: “keep hustlin, keep flowing.” Here are some of the images I took during my trip to Tampa. Please comment. I hope you enjoy. If you would like something I took of you, hit me up at Jarrad.Henderson@gmail.com
Walk into the salon and you can expect to see friendly faces, ladies and men waiting to be serviced and the rose colored walls which reflect owner Sarah Brown’s loving personality. The smells of hair gel, hot iron smoke and hairspray blend with a mixture of laughter as constructive thoughts flirt with everyday gossip. “I haven’t had no cookies!” the ladies jump into a conversation about working out. From politics to the BET awards, everything is fair game in the salon falling right in line with the shop name and slogan “Rumors: have you heard?” (more…)
When I was 19, my father and mother gave me a book for my birthday entitled Special Moments: In African American History, a book showcasing the wonderful images of Moneta Sleet Jr. This book was the beginning of my ever-growing Black Artist coffee book collection, but I knew when I saw the cover that I was going to be hooked on the craft of photography. Sleet Jr., most recognizable image graced the front, full of passion, tears, and innocence. His image of Coretta Scott king at her husband funeral had been etched in the crevices of my mind as a young adult. It is with this point of reference that I decided to photograph my late grandfather SB Henderson’s funeral. (more…)