It was disconcerting to me, a person of noncolor, walking around an underprivileged neighborhood while draped with $9,000 worth of photographic gear. My uneasiness was heightened by the fact that I was covering a spate of shootings on Boston playgrounds. I was grateful to have a reporter with me; a partner eased my fear.
But I found none of the cringing in doorways I'd expected. Days after a boy was wounded by a bullet while trying out for a football team, these summer campers played on the same field. Other children played basketball on the court where a coach had been gunned down just weeks earlier. Thinking of my safe suburban home, I marveled at how life goes on. One mom said of her teenage girls, "It's in their minds, that if someone started shooting, 'What would I do? How can I get away?' "
Looking over the pictures I've taken in these oft-maligned neighborhoods, I'm proud that along with stories on segregation and gentrification, I have documented events that offered rays of hope. That's why, in addition to newly deployed cops watching playgrounds, I photographed fathers at a church, pledging to take to the streets to try to stem the recent violence.