This father has photographed his son all his life. He hopes to alter the world’s view of Black households

Rashod Taylor’s son, LJ, lies in his fort constructed partially with an American flag. “LJ is at all times making forts,” Taylor mentioned, “and on this specific day, he needed me to {photograph} him in one which he put collectively.”

A father hopes photographs of his son can change the world’s view of Black households

Images by Rashod Taylor
Story by Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN
Revealed June 17, 2022

Rashod Taylor’s son, LJ, lies in his fort constructed partially with an American flag. “LJ is at all times making forts,” Taylor mentioned, “and on this specific day, he needed me to {photograph} him in one which he put collectively.”

Rashod Taylor is aware of he’s elevating a son in a rustic that isn’t at all times sort to Black males and boys.

Taylor mentioned he sees how Black males are criminalized, killed by police and portrayed as absentee fathers.

It worries him. Sooner or later 6-year-old LJ will develop up and depart house whereas carrying the burden of his blackness. Taylor mentioned he will not at all times be there to guard him.


/
Taylor in a self-portrait with LJ in 2020. Taylor mentioned his photograph sequence “Little Black Boy” depicts a extra susceptible and emotional facet of each him and LJ.

Taylor, who’s a portrait photographer based mostly in Springfield, Missouri, channels this concern by taking photographs of his son doing unusual issues similar to taking a shower along with his mother, sleeping, swimming or posing with a New York Yankees hat. Taylor typically joins LJ within the photographs.

Taylor mentioned he needs the world to see Black boys and Black males in a distinct mild. There’s a “tender, loving and caring” facet that is not at all times proven within the media, he mentioned.

“You do not see constructive photographs of Black households and Black fathers current with their children,” Taylor mentioned. “It is simply one other facet of the narrative that I needed to point out.”


/
LJ’s mom, Marianne, bathes with him in 2020.

/
LJ stands in his grandparents’ yard.

Taylor mentioned the photograph sequence “Little Black Boy” depicts a extra susceptible and emotional facet of each him and LJ. It additionally exhibits the closeness of their bond.

One photograph, for instance, is of Taylor sleeping subsequent his son on the sofa. One other is a picture of their faces facet by facet with solemn appears.

Taylor mentioned the portraits convey that he loves his son deeply however struggles with the truth that he cannot go in every single place with him.


/
LJ appears on the digital camera after getting in bother whereas his mom, Marianne, gently holds his face. Taylor doesn’t recall precisely what LJ did, however mentioned “as a 4-year-old boy there are loads of teachable moments rising up.”

/
Taylor rests his head subsequent to LJ in 2020.

He typically thinks about Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice — two harmless, younger Black boys who left house and by no means made it again to their dad and mom.

“There’s this concept that I can lose him immediately and I am unable to management that,” Taylor mentioned.

Taylor has captured moments when LJ held a small American flag whereas sitting on the porch and when he constructed a fort with the American flag draped over it.


/
A damaged piñata displaying the quantity 5 lies within the grass. “We have been celebrating his birthday and we bought a piñata for him and his pals,” Taylor mentioned. “That is the aftermath.”

LJ, able to get out of his church garments, reluctantly poses for {a photograph} on Easter Sunday.

LJ sleeps in 2020.

Taylor says they’re patriotic household that additionally understands the sophisticated historical past Black folks have with the US. He believes LJ needs to search out his place on this nation.

“It is a kind of issues that whereas I’m a really proud American and glad I stay on this nice nation,” Taylor mentioned. “However on the similar time, it is nearly like a each day wrestle since you stay in a spot the place folks with Black and brown pores and skin are nonetheless not handled with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”

Taylor mentioned he needs America to view LJ like another little one who likes to swim, construct forts, play soccer, video video games and watch cooking exhibits. He is elevating his son to be an upstanding man who is aware of he’s good, sturdy and treats others the best way he needs to be handled.


/
LJ swims in a pool along with his mom, Marianne, whereas visiting household in Austin, Texas, in 2021.

/
LJ, then 7 months previous, lies awake subsequent to his sleeping mom.

On the similar time, Taylor mentioned he’ll at all times remind LJ that he’s Black. He’ll educate him to maintain his arms on the steering wheel if he’s ever pulled over by police and to keep away from sporting hoodies when strolling round at night time.

Taylor mentioned he grew up in a two-parent family and his father instilled a few of those self same values and classes in him. However his largest hope is that the burden positioned on Black males and Black households can be lessened when LJ grows up and has his personal youngsters.

“I simply hope folks will take a look at the photographs and see a distinct perspective,” Taylor mentioned. “And develop empathy however much more than empathy … one thing that may assist enact change in them and their notion and the way they take a look at my world and LJ’s world.”


/
LJ holds an American flag on the Fourth of July vacation in 2020. Taylor mentioned the photograph “references the traditionally sophisticated nature of the connection that Black folks have with America.”

Supply hyperlink

About Choosebeats

Check Also

Gavin Newsom goes on the air against Ron DeSantis as political rivalry grows amid 2024 chatter

Gavin Newsom goes on the air in opposition to Ron DeSantis as political rivalry grows amid 2024 chatter

They’re each governors, rising stars and speculated soon-to-be presidential candidates, constructing out micro-ideological fashions of …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.