July 19, 2013

A Vintage Photo Reminds Us That Love Transcends Race.

During a week of racial tension after the Zimmerman verdict was released, a photo reminds us that we begin our lives without prejudice.

According to NPR, upon hearing the verdict, photographer Joseph Crachiola posted this vintage photograph to his Facebook page questioning:

“At what point do we begin to mistrust one another? When do we begin to judge one another based on gender or race?”

His posting garnered over 100,000 page views.

Crachiola explains the origins of the picture during an interview with NPR:

In late July 1973, Joseph Crachiola was wandering the streets of Mount Clemens, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, with his camera. As a staff photographer for the Macomb Daily, he was expected to keep an eye out for good feature images — “those little slices of life that can stand on their own.”

The slice of life he caught that day was a picture of five young friends in a rain-washed alley in downtown Mount Clemens. And what distinguishes it are its subjects: three black children, two white ones, giggling in each others’ arms.

“It was just one of those evenings,” Crachiola remembers. “I saw these kids — they were just playing around. And I started shooting some pictures of them. At some point, they saw me and they all turned and looked at me and struck that pose that you see in the picture. It was totally spontaneous. I had nothing to do with the way they arranged themselves.”

I find myself asking similar questions. Why is it so many of us lose that togetherness that thrived in our childhood? Why do people feel the need to label and stereotype or distance themselves from those who are different?

Each day I see my children’s eyes light up in fascination with each new discovery. I hope they hold on to that sense of wonder as they grow older. It is the unique, the distinctive, the offbeat that illuminate our world and make it such a wondrous place.

I hope I will lead well by example.

Mr. Crachiola called the photo one of his “most meaningful pictures.” In a spontaneous moment, he captured the essence of what community should be.

Like enlightened society on Facebook.

Ed: Bryonie Wise

Photo by Joseph Crachiola

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