Capturing a Cause

The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.

– Elliott Erwitt

This quote reemerged from some corner of my mind as I looked at photos of Celtics star Jaylen Brown leading a peaceful protest in Atlanta, twenty minutes from his hometown of Marietta, Georgia. Brown was trending on Twitter (the modern day version of making headlines) for utilizing his social media presence to organize the protest, and then making the 15-hour drive home from Boston to lead it. Brown, one of the NBA’s Players’ Association vice presidents, was joined by his fellow NBAPA VP, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, as well as G-League player Justin Anderson, and rapper Lil Yachty. It was one of dozens of protests taking place across the country as Americans continue to struggle to put an end to the pervasive and unacceptable racism that has poisoned this country from within like a cancer since long before the first cries for revolution.

And because the world is still in the throes of a global pandemic, too, many Americans watched from the sidelines of their own homes, glued to their screens. The videos and photographs being circulated spoke volumes about the state of this country, both positively and negatively. Photos of horrific police brutality, citizen looting, and the suffering of Black people juxtaposed with photos of immense love, community, and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Photographer Kemet Alston of Divrs Media, whose work has been featured in Atlanta’s SaportaReport, which brands itself a “factual, nonpartisan, publicly accessible” news site, participated in the peaceful protest Brown organized this weekend, and documented the experience on his social media. His photos captured the mood, a mixture of anguish and hope, of those who attended. On a whim, I reached out to him to ask him to share his story, and he agreed to be our guest on the Girl At The Game Podcast.

Kemet, it turns out, is the grandson of Andrew Young, one of the early civil rights activists, a close colleague and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Young went on to become a Georgia congressman, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and served multiple terms as the Mayor of Atlanta. So for Kemet, it was a moment of following in his grandfather’s footsteps. But he preferred to speak about the present and future, not the past, and focus on his own role, not the one his grandfather played in similar scenes decades ago. Kemet told us, “Everybody has a purpose. Not everybody’s purpose is to be on that front line… Your purpose might be to donate… but for me, I sit here as the grandson of a civil rights leader, it’s like, what do I do? I’ve seen so much of what my grandfather’s done and it’s like, he had his time, now what can I do? And so for me, it’s photography… At the end of the day, everybody has a purpose.”

Despite the pain and suffering that Black people have experienced for hundreds of years and continue to endure, Kemet spoke about hope for the future. “America hears our cries. It’s beautiful how many people have come together… At the end of the day, we just want to uplift, we want to make sure that positivity comes out of this. We don’t want to go back, we just want change, we want positivity.”

Passing the mic to him was an incredible honor and learning experience for us. We promise to continue to educate ourselves, unlearn and learn, and be allies in the Black Lives Matter movement. Change starts with each of us.

Listen to the full episode now:

The One With the Eastern Conference Finals and Bill Belichick's Sweatshirt Girl At The Game

After a mini-hiatus, the girls are BACK! Gab and Al discuss Celtics vs. Heat in the ECF so far, Kemba Walker's leadership, the locker room brawl, Gordon Hayward staying in the Bubble, and "fans" harassing his wife about her pregnancy. They then dive into some tough and frustrating topics, including Skip Bayless' comments about Dak Prescott's mental health revelations, Jason Whitlock's sexist comments about Maria Taylor and Katie Nolan, and why all of these issues point to toxic masculinity being on the rise in sports media. Also in this episode: recapping Cam Newton's first 2 games as Patriots QB, Bill Belichick's ripped sweatshirt, the weirdness of the 2020 Red Sox, and a little insider gossip from an MLB player's wife about how Rob Manfred is handling baseball this season. 
  1. The One With the Eastern Conference Finals and Bill Belichick's Sweatshirt
  2. The One With Paige Spiranac and Slut-Shaming
  3. The One With Steve Buckley and Joe Kelly Fight Club
  4. The One With Tom Caron and Opening Day
  5. The One With Adrienne Lawrence and the Venn Diagram

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Photos by Kemet Alston
Quotes have been condensed for clarity

One thought on “Capturing a Cause

  1. You have a big beautiful Voice. It doesn’t Matter what political party you are in, and injustice is an injustice. Wriye and Pray about it every day if you have to! This is America, we only need to see red, white and blue. Marvelous, marvelous, marvelous read!

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