Photographer Donna Pinckley has created a provocative photo gallery within her “Sticks and Stones” project which illustrates not only that racism in the United States of America is still very much alive, but in turn, so is the resilience of those subjected to its destructive ways.
In her artist statement about the project, Pinckley writes:
The ‘Sticks and Stones’ photography series began with an image of one of my frequent subjects and her African-American boyfriend. Her mother and I were catching up in the kitchen when she told me of the cruel taunts hurled at her daughter for dating a boy of another race. As she was speaking I was reminded of another mother in another kitchen many years ago, whose daughter had been the object of similar racial slurs. What struck me was the resilience of both couples in the face of derision, their refusal to let others define them.
While interracial relationships and marriages have been legal across the United States since Loving v. Virginia in 1967, acceptance and tolerance sadly lag behind the law. One can only assume that will be the same case for same-sex marriage as well.
Legally, we can bring about change. Progressives have been instrumental for decades in swaying the courts toward equality. Societal change, while absolutely possible, doesn’t come quite so swiftly.
The beauty of these photographs paired with the ugliness of the noted comments are in startling contrast to one another.
We can dream that one day the attitudes of the few still holding fast to these disparaging views will fade like the ink in which the words are scribed.
“There are other black girls out there.”
“They are disgusting.”
If she can’t use your comb, don’t bring her home!”
I told you a black woman lived with a white man in that house!”
“Wouldn’t you rather date someone your own race?”
“What’s wrong with American women? Do you not like American women?”
“White men have taken everything, including our women.”
“Don’t like black women?”
“You’ll never be able to give her what a white man could. “
“Bitches like that are the reason we can’t get a good black man.”
“All she wants from you is a green card.”
“No other man will ever want you.”
“Look at you taking another one of our good black men.”
“Why is he with her? He has all of us beautiful black women to choose from!”
“We live in the south, so don’t expect to be able to bring him around family.”
You can view the entire “Sticks and Stones” collection by Donna Pinckley at donnapinckley.com/miscegenation.
All images via donnapinckley.com