In That Land of Perfect Day
IN THAT LAND OF PERFECT DAY
This is a reflection of life in the Mississippi Delta. In the summer of 2009 I began photographing in communities that span some 40 square miles. In villages with names like Alligator, BoBo and Duncan, as well as one of the United States' oldest completely African American municipalities, Mound Bayou, where in 1910, a New York Times headline once declared that, “no white man can own a square foot of land.” Over the past 11 years I have witnessed signs of strength against struggle, humility amidst pride, and a promise for deliverance in the lives that I’ve come to know.
In what began as a journey for personal exploration is found a narrative of another man’s faith, identity, and perseverance. I see the strength of a single man while acknowledging the machine that replaced thousands, the flight of childhood innocence grounded by the scar of life hard lived, a living room tribute to a symbolic president, and a toppled white king in a conquered game of chess.
While this work makes specific reference to the rural African American experience, I am reminded with every visit that these themes of faith, identity, and perseverance are common to us all. These are the traits of strong men. And maybe that is the lesson I was looking for all along.