Tucson Black Voices, a portrait project by Kathleen Dreier Photography, features the diverse experiences of our Tucson Black community. May we all become good allies as a result.

“So, this guy asked me a few days ago, white guy that is, why has all the racist stuff start when 45 got elected & did I constantly live in fear.

I told him this has been going on for 400 years ever since my forefathers/mothers were brought to North America as slaves.

I remember when I was a kid in elementary school in Buffalo NY, I was walking to school & tripped on a tree root, fell & hit my head, blood started streaming down the front of my face. Two adult white ladies & a man walked by & started laughing & pointing at me while continuing their walk past me. I wasn’t old enough to understand & the incident puzzled me for a long time.

My counselor at Bennette High School in Buffalo asked me what i wanted to be when I graduate. I told him I wanted to be a Nurse. He said that wasn’t a job for people like me & that I should become a plumber or a carpenter; after all, Jesus was a carpenter.

In Buffalo, I belonged to a High school YMCA club (I was the only Black member). We collectively went to a restaurant & after a flurry of discussion which I was not privy to, we all left the store. After we left, i was told by one of the club members the restaurant does not serve Black people.

During High School summer break I went to Richmond Virginia to visit my Uncle Henry & Aunt Lustrina on their farm. One day during pig-sticking time (slaughtering hogs), when a large number of friends & relatives would get together & bring all their hogs to one farm to be slaughtered, there suddenly there was a flurry of activity, people running snatching up kids, penning up the hogs & everyone heading into the farmhouse. It was an old house & you could kinda see through the boards of the building. All us kids had been rushed into a cellar under the kitchen table but it wouldn’t fit all of us & I was one that was left in the room with all the adults.

There were doors on all the windows which were hurriedly closed & within the doors were slotted which I soon learned for shooting rifles through. There also was hidden doors in the walls that contained shotguns & rifles & they all came out & each window was manned & womaned by individuals with rifles.

I could see through the cracks in the boards what looked like flickering flames coming down the road & the flames stopped at the front of the farmhouse & then there was a resounding hammering on the door.

To make a long story short they were looking for a particular Black individual who was in the house but they were told that every adult in the house was armed & willing to put up a fight. As they left I could see between the board’s men dressed in white robes carrying a huge burning cross.

This is just a smattering of all the racial charged incidents I have had in my life. No, I do not constantly live in fear but I am cautious; there certain places I do not go especially large gatherings of white people.

45 has opened Pandora’s box & allowed every stinking closet racist out of the box. Now they flaunt their racism openly & without repercussions.

I have always owned a gun but now since 45 has given racist a blank check to do what they will at their own discretion, I now carry it openly on my side which at least will deter the timid racist & as protection against the more aggressive ones.

To be born Black is a potential death sentence. At the present & as it has been for 400 years, all you can do is keep on trucking & be aware.” – Ron Austin

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Voices of Race: Andres

Voices of Race: Andres

“As African Americans, we are caught in this world which celebrates the culture but not the people. 
I want to dare to dream…”

Voices of Race: AAPI

Voices of Race: AAPI

Voices of Race, a portrait series by Kathleen Dreier, is dedicated to amplifying the voices of our BIPOC communities and being a call of action to white people to be social change agents.

What White People Think:  Sara

What White People Think: Sara

My appearance takes after my dad, but my culture and upbringing are definitely that of my mom. This has always caused an internal struggle, or identity crisis. I have always been too white for Mexicans and too Mexican for white people.

To review Kathleen's full portfolio or to discuss your specific photography needs,

Please contact Kathleen Dreier Photography for a complimentary consultation.

Proud Member