Cyclops — Walking with my eight year old today and talking pictures. He was trying to convince me that he knew what ingredients should be in a good picture. It was a fantastic couple of miles worth of conversation. #oggl_ig #mosijahroye #blackportraiture #streetportrait #street_bw #son #streetphotography #bedstuyportrait #brooklynportrait #igers #instamood #picoftheday #olympusomd (at Ricky’s Restaurant)

September 11, 2014
“Picking Ones Battles”

I have been really keeping my two eyes and ears open for an outcry by members of our celebrity fraternity. Where are the Smiths and the Carters? Except for a vocal Talib Kwali I hardly see an enraged personality manning or “womaning” social media to shed light on what appears to be an increase in violence against black youths in America. Today I want to acknowledge the tragic deaths of over 3000 men and women who lost their lives in 2001. Let us stay vigilant and continue to lift our voices against any acts that threaten the lives or violate the rights of all Americans — especially young black men in this country. #oggl_ig #blackportraiture #bedstuyportrait #brooklynportrait #brooklynphotography #streetportrait #street_bw #streetphotography #makeportrait #makeportraits #igers #instamood #webstagram #sonyr100 (at Clinton - Washington Ave (G) Train Station)

September 10, 2014
“Confession: Suicide Prevention Day”

Elizabeth Doughty spoke fondly and proudly about her son’s generosity. In her aim to properly furnish a school in Jamaica with books and computers she recalled her son suggesting to give up his weekly allowance of US $2.00 a week “for the cause.” Idris is only seven years old. “He is so positive about life,” she said.
She then straightened her face and drifted off to my previous question. “I try not to dwell even though I go close because there is always somebody who will hurt. It’s devastating to your kid and it’s devastating to your family, but people who actually get to finish, convince themselves that the people they leave will be better off without them. That’s the line, the sharp jagged edge between fantasy and reality. Living on either side of the line is the every day struggle.”
She recalled a time when she said there was a period of depression that blanketed her family.
“It was the time when my mother had a nervous breakdown and she went to the hospital. There was a time while at the hospital she happened to disappear and it turned out to be a horrible day. My whole family didn’t speak to each other, we all were like in a suspended sense of waiting.” “The first time I contemplated suicide I was 15. I was sitting in the kitchen, severely anorexic and severely depressed and I began using a knife to mark my wrist without seriously cutting the skin. It was on my mind, sitting in the kitchen waiting… I don’t think it would have been the best way to do it.” #oggl_ig #brooklynportrait #brooklynphotography #streetportrait #streetphotography #makeportrait #makeportraits #igers #instamood #webstagram #sonyrx1 (at Fort Greene Historic District)

“They do nothing for us. I do not see one politician until around election time.” Fifty six year old Tony Grant said as the “Mayor” of Bedstuy he can say with certainty that the politicians do nothing for his community.
I see him ever so often standing like a lighthouse at the corner of Bainbridge and Malcolm X streets. With a memory that stretches as far back as when he was a ten year old running around on the same block he now lives on, he could not recall a time when any of the politicians who represented his community came around in a show of concern for their constituency.
The “Mayor” speaks to everyone, shaking their hands and slipping them a joke, or volunteering to carry a neighbour’s grocery all the way up to the fifth floor.
“You would think that they could at least eat with us. They don’t help us get food, or help finance our soup kitchens, but if they ate with us, they could know how we live.”
The disillusioned voter pointed to the fact that the only hospital that serves the community of Bedstuy has been slated to be closed.
“They don’t care,” he quipped. #portrait #photography #documentary #oggl_ig #reportage #relevanceseries #iammanseries #iphoneonly #iphonography #mobileonly #mobilephotography #picoftheday #photooftheday #bestoftheday #brooklynportrait #bedstuyportrait #blackportraiture #igers #instahub #instagood #instamood (at Big City Baby)

Tia has decided to make the “transition” from male to females as a natural progression, almost like waking up from a dream. In two months the calm, ebony, statuesque 6 footer with very bold masculine tattoos will celebrate 3 years since making the decision to live as a woman. I was at her apartment to talk about living in “the life” on the heals of the horrific murders of two transgender persons recently.
Seventeen year old Dwayne Jones from Montego Bay, Jamaica, otherwise called “Gully Queen,” was cornered by an angry mob at a party and was stabbed, chopped, shot, ran over by a car, and his body dumped in a nearby bush.
In another incident here in Harlem, 21 year old Islan Nettles was brutally beaten and later died because of her injuries. The NYPD is calling it a hate crime.
“I do not allow obstacles to tear me down, I refuse to play or be the victim,” Tia said. “However, there are things that are to be expected people are hateful and judgmental and just don’t like you because they disagree with how you live your life,” she continued.
Up to a few years ago I was very silent on the subject. I live in a world that still upholds that my Human Rights as a Black man to exist had to be legislated. But my truth is, if I fight for every person’s right to exist, I also fight for the rights of my two sons coming up into the world and this country. #portrait #oggl_ig #blackportraiture #bedstuyportrait #brooklynportrait (at Hancock)

There is a stark difference between make believe, as in the movies, and what is real. So when you hear someone say to you, his tattoos are symbols that represent him being a “rebel without a cause,” and he does not look anything like James Dean, it does make you ask the question — ok what does he mean by this?
I wanted to know about the message, codes and symbols this man had tattooed all over his face and body. 666, skull and bones, eat pussy, were just some if the words and symbols that were visible.
Pillz is a young man from the streets of Bedstuy. He does not talk much but he believes that in life one must grasp the chance, “even if it is once in your life,” as he puts it, to tell ones story. “I am the god of ignorance,” he told me when I asked about his 666 tattoo.
“I am a product of this wasteland we all call Bedstuy. It is not changing for me, it might look different to others but just because we don’t live in huts and shit anymore, it does not mean we are not living in poverty.”
Pillz says there is no hope.
“Hope comes through desperation and I only survive by taking things from the streets. My only escape is in a euphoria of drugs.”
He said that he has been in “the life” from age 16 and credits his intellect from watching a lot of tv.
#portrait #photography #photojournalism #documentary #reportage #oggl_ig #iphoneonly #iphonography #mobileonly #mobilephotography #igers #instagood #instamood #bestoftheday #picoftheday #photooftheday #brooklynportrait #iammanseries #relevanceseries (at Bedford–Stuyvesant)

The Changing Face of Brooklyn— There is a growing wave of anger over the gentrification of Brooklyn that can be felt when small groups gather on stoops or street corners, and sometimes through street art that are posted all over the borough. #brooklynportrait #oggl_ig #documentary (at Walking In Brooklyn)

Healthy Living — I met Sharlene as she sat on a park bench waiting for the time when CSI was schedule to start on her local channel.
She had just left the hospital after spending almost two days hooked up to an I V. We talked about needles, drugs, alcohol, seventy year-old crackheads, revealing clothes, diabetes and an only son who had a girlfriend that she disapproves of. “She took my spot,” she said. #oggl_ig #blackportraiture #brooklynportrait #documentary (at Washington Ave.)

#waiting —After church waiting for the ride home #easterportraitseries #portrait #photography #photojournalism #documentary #reportage #blackportraiture #iphoneonly #iphonography #mobilephoto #mobilephotography #instagood #instamood #igers #picoftheday #photooftheday #bedstuyportrait #brooklynportrait #bestoftheday #street_bw #streetphotography #hipstamatic (at First AME Zion Church)

Alone VII — Ode to Donald Roye #donaldroye “What am I worth,” is the question 31 year old Ryan James asked himself yesterday when his aunt called him to ask if he could come bully a few teenage boys around where she lived. Apparently they were “messing” with her sons.
“The thing is she knows I already have three strikes, if I cough on anyone I go straight to jail.” Shaking his head in disbelief , Ryan James shoved his hands into his down coat as if to comfort himself.
“I have always been alone.”
Ryan recalled that at 5 years old he returned home from Kindergarten to find his house empty. He said his mother always worked so it was not strange to come home to an empty house but when he walked I to the living room there were two bags, one with his clothes and the other filled with his toys.
After being abandoned by his grandmother at age 14, he spent the next four years on the street before being arrested for the first time at age 20. Three “bids” later I cross path with a gentle and beautiful spirit who walked up to me on the side of the street to ask, “are you a photographer, are you hiring?”
With his record, Ryan has not been able to hold down a job and as a result he has been at the mercy of many “shady” employers.
One employer at a supermarket in Queens told his supervisor in Spanish ( not knowing that Ryan, whose mother was from Panama speaks fluent Spanish) “
“Trajabando esta tu manos esta sangrando,” Ryan who understood look up at the supervisor and replied.
“I quit.”
#portrait #photojournalism #documentary #reportage #oggl_ig #iphoneonly #iphonography #mobilephoto #mobilephotography #streetportrait #streetphotography #picoftheday #photooftheday #bestoftheday #igers #instahub #instagood #instamood #webstagram #brooklynportrait (at The Living Gallery)

Church Goers — B-roll —
for full coverage tune in to @nowthisnews where I will be posting my thoughts in pictures on their instagram feed all this week
#portrait #photojournalism #documentary #reportage #iphoneonly #oggl_ig #iphonography #mobilephoto #mobilephotography #picoftheday #photooftheday #bestoftheday #igers #instahub #instagood #instamood #brooklynportrait #bedstuyportrait (at The Slave Theatre)

#larry A former organist at a nearby church found himself playing Amazing Grace for some of his friend in front of a liquor store this Easter Sunday. He no longer plays at the church which he attributed to his drinking. #easterportraitseries 2013 #portrait #povertyseries #blackportraiture #photography #documentary #reportage #relevanceseries #street_bw #streetphotography #iphoneonly #iphonography #mobilephoto #mobilephotography #igers #instagood #instamood #bestoftheday #picoftheday #photooftheday #bedstuyportrait #brooklynportrait #hipstamatic (at Seven & One (7-1) Grocery Store)

This photo does not do justice to what was actually in front of my lens. He was also hot stepping and was not stopping for photo-ops. He was however allowing a shot on the run, so i called out to him and gave it my best try at a guerrilla snapshot. BTW the suit was big bird yellow. #portrait #photography #sapeurs #sape #pimp #pastor #photojournalism #reportage #iammanseries #standyourground #streetphoto_bw #iphoneonly #mobilephoto #mobilephotography #igers #blackportraiture #blackhistorymonthseries #brooklynportrait #documentary #picoftheday #photooftheday #hipstamatic (at The Mayflower Social)

Alone — Donald Roye walked away from this platform 6 years ago. I remember thinking about his departure, using Pavarotti as a reference because they both went home around the same time. I am sure my father listened attentively and in intense silence while the best of the Tenor’s voice echoed like a memory in the afterlife.
There was a time I felt that if I had brought him to this country I could have saved his life. But more and more as memories of him strip and peel itself from the lining of my steps, I see him everywhere.
I watch him stagger across inebriated street corners to greet friends fermented in fervent frowns. Or watch him lean with the evening light sinking it into the shadowy dusk. Trailing behind each step was his sole dipped into the rancid smell of frustration and failure. I see my father every where there is a forgotten soul. #blackportraiture #donaldroye #oggl_ig #brooklynportrait #documentary (at Wine & Liquors)