100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Mannie King

"What brought me here was...20 years ago...My mother wasn't into this type of stuff but my father was. My father was what you can call a 'mason muslim', my mother was a christian and my grandmama was a methodist. So my family was all mixed up when it came to religion. So over the years, I've just been doing a lot of seeking for myself to try and find out if we have one God and one devil, why we got a million ways to get to Him? So while seeking myself I discovered something called Islam, something called Yahweh and started connecting with the people who knew about that as well. So I was introduced with the opportunity to come out here because I'm tight with all the brothers out here in suits.

Outside of the march, I do a lot of activist work for the youth. Right now I'm teaching them about entrepreneurship. I just want to help them become more self sufficient so they can pass it on to generations to come..."

100 Strangers: Metro Station Downtown Houston, TX

Antoine

"I got a lot on my plate man. I go to school, I'm an entrepreneur, I work a 9 to 5, and I'm a father. I'm always moving man. You never know who you're going to run into so I try to stay as busy as possible.  Right now it's hard for me to focus on one thing, so I try to do A, B and C at one time to figure out which one works best for me..."

100 Strangers: South St., Philadelphia, PA

Eddie

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"I've been a street artist since the early 90's. Back then it was more pure. The city wasn't painting over stuff so paint and graffiti was everywhere in that time. It's kind of like how the early 90's was to Hip Hop; the same went for street art as well. Everything today is like a shadow of what was happening in that era. That's why I loved growing up in that time period.

As a street artist, I wouldn't mind being famous while not losing sight of who I am. Like, I don't want to be a sell out or nothing. You know? But then again, I would rather my art be known more than anything. Of course, being paid for my work is always a good thing. Pretty much, if my art is well-known and I'm getting paid for it, I'd take that over fame any day."

100 Strangers: Think Before You Ink, 167-16 Hillside Avenue, Queens, NY

Rich (Tattoo Artist)

Legit, like I feel like I've been so focused and driven on the s**t I do that I really haven't hit a point that set me back yet.

My end goal is to 'not have to'.  Dead ass. To 'not have to'. I want to be at a point where I'm creating because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to. "

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Hachi Bee

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"You watch TV? They're degrading us. You listen to the radio? They're degrading us. Advertisements? It's degrading. They don't like to show us in our power. 

Not only do I hope for, but I will work towards the uplifting of our black people. We have to get back to where we are supposed to be and in order to that we have to make some moves. And as far as in my world, I'm making moves..."

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Shaed

"I'm a sophomore communications major at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. I'm here because of the recent events of young black males being shot in the streets. It's something that struck me personally because I've been in positions where I didn't feel comfortable around the police myself. So I'm here to show my support to the people who can't stand up for themselves or never had the chance to..."

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated

"What brought me to the march was the fact that issues we face as African American's were being brought to the surface to make change. The change in which will bring about laws and hold the justice system accountable for protecting our lives as equal citizens. I hope that we wake up as African American's and realize that the only way to change the world is to start by changing the way we think and act. Support black owned businesses, and stop killing each other"

- Micah Wells, Cleveland, OH

 

"I simply could not sit back and miss out on history. I've always been captivated by what my ancestors have done and been apart of. How on Earth could I be anywhere else on this planet other than Washington, D.C on 10/10/15? The vibrations sent out amongst that crowd cant be duplicated. The weekend mirrored a family reunion, it was a reunion amongst my line brothers and a reunion amongst a culture young/ old. The fact that absolute strangers were glad that I was there is enough reason right there. This is what brought me to D.C and is why I will cherish it forever! I hope that future generations will grasp their own understanding. Not just believer all that's heard across this crazy world. Do your research, love learning, and watch how your world illuminates. This was an illuminating event- the most of that category since I've been born into existence."

-Mark Peterson Jr., Milwaukee, WI

 

"What brought me to the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March is to be in solidarity with my people in the fight for justice and to pay homage to those we have lost in this battle. When the march was originated and organized by Minister Farrakhan in 95', I was 7 years old. I had no clue what it was about or why it even mattered, but I do remember hearing about it as a young child. Fast forward 20 years later... we are still faced with very similar issues and there was no way as a conscious black man, I could miss out on being apart of African-American history in the fight to create a better world for our young people. The brothers/sisters I was able to meet, time spent with my frat brothers/friends, and the experience as a whole was very fulfilling. I've never in my life been in a collective space of hundreds of thousands of African-American people- for one cause, one mission, one movement in peace! The experience was indescribable, and further confirmed the positive narrative I believe about our race. What I hope for future generations is that they don't fall victim to the propaganda the media perpetuates. They must understand that we have the power to write our own ticket. All the negative imagery of African American's isn't the dominant reality of who we are. We can't let them fall victim to that, and it's our job as black men and women to live lives that display the possibility of what they can be."

-Lance Woods, Detroit, MI

100 Strangers: Hermann Park, Houston, TX

Alton

"Right now, I'm just networking with people and getting a better feel of Houston. As far as work, I'm doing designing such as logos, clothes, stuff like that. I've also done some modeling as well. 

I'm originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I left and moved to Houston to pursue my dreams as a music artist. The idea of pursuing music came from people like my mother, Michael Jackson and Beyonce. 

About two years ago, I had a friend that was telling me about the city and I'd been wanting to move out of Arkansas for a while now.  So one day I just made up my mind, got up and moved. Now I'm ready to take care of business.

The most valuable lesson I've learned from all of this is to not be scared..."- Alton

100 Strangers: Texas Ave., Downtown Houston, TX

Willie

"I'm just a homeless who just got off them drugs. Back in the day, I did it all. Cocaine, crack.. you name it.

I'm originally from Louisiana. My family was going to a family reunion. I had to work that day so I wasn't able to go with them. Anyway, it was 13 of them riding in a van. They ended up driving towards a bridge that I told them not to ride on because it was a very old bridge and I didn't trust it. They took the bridge anyway and it collapsed. Just like that, I lost my family. I can't tell you what happened years after that but I do know I ended up homeless eventually.

When you're homeless, you do what other homeless people do because the people who aren't homeless can't relate to you. So they don't want to have nothing to do with you. And all the homeless people did was drugs, so that's what I ended up doing." - Willie Green

100 Strangers: Texas Southern University, Houston, TX

Earlie Hudnall Jr

"I don't think money is the motive. We do things to survive. I've never had the intent of going into business or more less taking pictures for money to make it. I've been very fortunate to have had a job at TSU. My first job here was cleaning the paint room in the art department. Dr. John Biggers  gave me that job. Dr. Biggers and  Dr. Thomas F. Freeman are the reasons why I pursued photography. They allowed me the space, freedom and inspiration to do so. But money was never the motive for me. Documenting one's community was the motive and has become a great passion of mine from the beginning. 

You have to set your goals, you have to pursue them, then you have to put everything else secondary to that. But when you pursue them, you have to pursue them with a passion. And if you don't pursue it with a passion and if you don't Love what you do, well then again, you need to find something else to do. See when I get up and I come to TSU, whether I'm doing a picture for a student, or if I'm doing a picture for someone in the administration department, or whatever; I Love what I'm doing."- Earlie Hudnall Jr.

100 Strangers: Downtown Houston Metro Rail, Houston, TX

T.C.

"I'm actually on my way to work now. I work at Frank's pizza. You have to check it out. Some of the best pizza in Houston man.

I had a divorce 3 years ago. Me and her were together since high school. So it was definitely a turning point for me. It's all good though. It's a big world, ya know? I gotta stay busy man. I'm a 4.0 student working towards my masters degree and I'm going to do whatever it takes to provide for my son. It's like chess man. I'm not going to be too occupied in the moment and at the same time, I'm not going to look too far ahead of the future either. I just take things day by day as they come and I keep a long term plan. As long as keeping hitting the next plateau, that's all that matters. And that's the same thing with Love, you know? She's my ex wife, but I still Love her. If it's not meant to be then it's not meant to be, that's just how it is...

When it all comes down to it, the rent is still due on the first..." - T.C.

100 Strangers: Kansas City, MO

Velmos (My Grandfather)

 "... I remember that day I was working at the sand mill. That whole day I was trying to  figure out what I was going to name him. After hours of working and thinking, I finally figured it out! I called your grandmother to tell her the news. I told her 'I think I'm going to name him Alonzo, I really like that name'. After that, it was a done deal. Your granddaddy picked out that name all by himself..." - Velmos Williams Sr. (My Grandfather)   R.I.P. August 15th, 2015   

"... I remember that day I was working at the sand mill. That whole day I was trying to  figure out what I was going to name him. After hours of working and thinking, I finally figured it out! I called your grandmother to tell her the news. I told her 'I think I'm going to name him Alonzo, I really like that name'. After that, it was a done deal. Your granddaddy picked out that name all by himself..." - Velmos Williams Sr. (My Grandfather) 

R.I.P. August 15th, 2015

 

100 Strangers: Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

Bernard

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"When it comes to music, Chicago is known for everything my brother. Jazz, rap, soul, you name it...

Ive been playing out here for a little while now and Maaaaaan, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are my busiest days out here because Friday everybody getting paid, Saturday everybody need something good to listen to, and Sunday people looking for somewhere else to pay their tithes because they know some of these preachers be pimpin in the pulpit. They rather give their tithes to God by giving those who live their passions. When you get home, read the book of Acts chapter 3 and 4. It'll tell you how a church is really suppose to be ran..."- Bernard

100 Strangers: Alabama St., Houston, TX

Al Saulso

"I've been successful for a while now. I started my own magazine recently... everyone faces obstacles. I was pretty much shut down by most of the art people in Houston. They said that I can't do this and I can't do that. But you can't let people say what you can't do. The second they say you can't do something is the moment you should do it as much as you can because that will be the one thing that makes you successful. So because I wasn't getting recognition from other magazines, I decided to create my own. Now it's growing not only here (U.S.) but in Paris as well."- Al Saulso

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Victor

"In my daily affairs, I'm a firefighter. In my journey to become a Houston firefighter I was met with a resistance that I had not foreseen. I had been accustomed to jumping hurdles, because I create my own path in life, but this was different... What I noticed was that despite the fact that I had come to associate the fire service (Houston Fire Department specifically) with concepts like "service", "honor", and "dignity", it was up to me to bring those to work. They would not be plainly featured for me to partake of. I had to fight tooth and nail at some point during the process to keep my job because of the inability or unwillingness of part of my organization's "leadership" to embody those previously mentioned concepts. A sort of sh*&ty abandonment... 

After some reflection, I recognized that the beauty of having to supply yourself with morality, is that it feels so much more fulfilling when you succeed."- Victor Blanchard

 

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Xavier

 "... I don't take pictures, but I do model. I'm also a musician. You probably saw me doing an open mic night at Avant Garden. I've been playing guitar for like 8 years now and singing for about 4 years. For the last two years I recently put a band together and started writing my own songs.   I didn't start listening to music until I was like 12 years old. I remember when I first listened, it was rock music. So I'm looking at all these rockstars doing all this cool sh*#  and I was like  'man, that looks really badass. I want to do that one day'. That's where my inspiration comes from. I want to be able to get on that level if not higher.    If you were to ask me what my mission statement would be as a musician, it would be to open people's minds and help them express their creativity freely. It's a lot of music out there that's kind of cookie cutter, ya know? Like it all has the same kind of formula.   I just thinks it's really cool whenever people can really express themselves however the hell they want and kind of get that experience and exposure to new things." - Xavier

"... I don't take pictures, but I do model. I'm also a musician. You probably saw me doing an open mic night at Avant Garden. I've been playing guitar for like 8 years now and singing for about 4 years. For the last two years I recently put a band together and started writing my own songs. 

I didn't start listening to music until I was like 12 years old. I remember when I first listened, it was rock music. So I'm looking at all these rockstars doing all this cool sh*#  and I was like 'man, that looks really badass. I want to do that one day'. That's where my inspiration comes from. I want to be able to get on that level if not higher. 

If you were to ask me what my mission statement would be as a musician, it would be to open people's minds and help them express their creativity freely. It's a lot of music out there that's kind of cookie cutter, ya know? Like it all has the same kind of formula.

I just thinks it's really cool whenever people can really express themselves however the hell they want and kind of get that experience and exposure to new things." - Xavier