James C. Lewis has taken photographs in the past that make a statement but none quite like his new collection. The motivation behind Lewis’ Naked Black Justice isn’t hard to find if you are aware of the recent injustices against African-Americans, most notably the killing of Trayvon Martin. Feeling powerless about injustice isn’t new to the black community but doing something to make people pay attention to these actions and that something not involving an outlandish news story is. No doubt, Lewis wanted to voice his feelings about the stereotypes blacks face in American daily but wanted to do so with his voice, his camera.
“This photography campaign was designed to bring attention to the issues of racism, prejudice and overall ignorance that has been impressed upon Black Americans. This is no longer just a statement…it has become a MOVEMENT to get others to understand that the world would be such a better place if we could just ERASE THE HATE!! Nudity was implemented to demonstrate the RAW REALITY of these issues…so if it causes you to become uncomfortable while viewing this…GOOD…maybe it will challenge you and others to take a stand against these injustices.”
Lewis has encouraged people to participate and list his Facebook page as the point of contact. He plans to later showcase the photographs in galleries across the nation but has yet to set a date. The photographs are striking, beautiful and make you want to look at them. Does looking at them really change the viewer’s mind about the subjects or the image that the everyday American has toward a black person? As beautiful and engaging as this campaign is, its power to make people think about how they view an entire culture may have fallen on already convinced ears. The people most likely to agree with Lewis or view the images in a gallery have already ask themselves the hard questions. My hope is his shock and awe approach does more to open people’s minds and their ears than it does to open their mouths and close their minds. (cont … Black Love Project)