Yet again, it’s Black History Month. Every year I sit and think of more ways to increase awareness of my history, and not just the history I’m “allowed” to read about, but the history of our unspoken heroes as well. I know, “why wait until February?” That’s a valid question which I am not ashamed to answer: I grew up taking for granted history and its meaning to my current life; it wasn’t until about 3 years ago when I realized how history can repeat itself and my generation is in a different but similar struggle as prior generations.
Who is Devin Allen? Devin is a photographer who captured the image featured on this post. It was such a telling picture that Time Magazine decided to use it as its cover, drawing comparisons between 1958 and 2015. Living in Baltimore, I always knew the struggles the city faced, staying away from certain areas at night and always minding my business. I knew of the bias the police had when dealing with city vs county suspects (not 1st hand, but through accounts of acquaintances) and I knew of the heightened tension between law enforcement and black men and women. To the outsider however, this may have seemed justified, as all people ever associate Baltimore with is The Wire. Devin Allen’s picture spoke a thousand words and conjured up emotions around the nation as we all saw 1 black male running from what seemed like a hundred man police unit.
There is so much I can say about this picture or Devin, but I want to highlight a potent fact: Devin is just like you and I. A single man who used his God given talent to illuminate. I think we downplay our individual gifts and in turn miss out on opportunities to grow and help a mass audience. What are you good at that you never showcase? This month, make it a priority to share your abilities. I’m sure Devin didn’t think Time would break the norm/history and take an amateur’s work as cover material. That was a 1st for the famed publication
Check out Devin’s Instagram and stay blessed!