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Tucson Black Voices

Kathleen Dreier | Arizona, United States

Organization: Kathleen Dreier Photography

”As president of Gutter Enterprises LLC, I am empowering a coalition of committed individuals/organizations, to work with me to convey the message that “Good Things'' do come from places that people consider the “Gutter”; through music, media, and education. Gutter Enterprises produces content embracing faith, family, community, and love. Depictions of Blacks from Minstrel Shows served as some of the most negative, influential stereotypes of African-Americans that helped to define this group in the minds of Whites. There are Black Men who are married and love their wives and children. There are Black Men who love God, and try to live in harmony and peace with others to the best of their ability. There are educated Black Men who pursue careers outside of hip hop, sports, and illegal activities. There are Black Men and women who work hard, in which some become successful entrepreneurs that add value to the lives of others; regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. It’s time to dispel the lies, and showcase the truth. Let’s work together to impact our community, and give our youth healthy alternatives in music, media, and entertainment that will build them up spiritually, mentally, and physically.”

“Ally is a verb.”
These words were written on a person’s shirt at a Tucson vigil organized by Black leaders on 06/01/2020, one week after George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis police. The peaceful event, diversely attended, was filled with powerful speeches. At the end of the evening, another unrelated group of people, rushed the stage, shouting to the departing crowd that working within a system designed to oppress Black people wasn’t possible, that more aggressive action, such as defunding the police, was essential. As a White, 60-year old woman, this was an epiphany moment: that there are vastly differing perspectives within the Black community as to what the issues are and how to address them. How is it that I never considered this before? I recognized that I would use my social media platforms to amplify the diverse voices of our Black community and Tucson Black Voices was birthed as a result. To date, approximately 80 people have participated in this ongoing series. The captions here are excerpts from the person’s full statement.




Read each person's full statement on Facebook: @TucsonBlackVoices

Instagram: @TucsonBlackVoices

Cell:  520-245-6711

Email: kathleendreier93@gmail.com

Method: Adhering strictly to social distancing protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the portraits are done outside. I am masked, photographing 10 feet away from the person, typically outside of their home for their convenience. From the outset, I was committed to not formally interviewing the participant because I didn’t want to direct or shape the person’s statement. Instead I give each person a simple writing prompt, “Share with us whatever it is you want about your experience of being a Black person in Tucson.” After the person emails me their statement, I share their portrait and words to various social media pages including my dedicated Facebook and Instagram pages. I do not censor any statement, instead invite the person to express themselves freely.

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