Photographer captures unity in Juneteenth photo project

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 9:47 PM CDT
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A Milwaukee photographer is kicking off a campaign featuring faces of color.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and with every face, Terrance Sims Jr. hopes to tell a story.

"I just want to inspire happiness and hope with our people," Sims said.

As protests and unrest sweep the nation, Sims is using his camera to capture unity in the black community hoping others can see the world through his lens.

"When the young girls are sitting here they were smiling because they have the black girl magic and they're happy and being able to capture each person's experience and facial expression speaks volumes," Dareon Henderson, participant said.

Sims took his talents from Milwaukee to Madison.

"I feel like a lot of the things that are going on in the nation especially concerning the black community sometimes we graze over it because it doesn't affect people right at their front door," Sims said.

His goal is to take photos of one thousand faces so everyone can post their pictures on social media on Juneteenth.

"I can feel the momentum building from the holiday, and I think the momentum came from an unfortunate circumstance," he said.

Juneteenth, a combo of June and 19th, marks a day of freedom and independence. It’s a celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

"I really hope this project put the stamp on that Juneteenth is a holiday that should be celebrated and respected by everybody," Sims said.

Black people of all ages and walks of life are stepping in front of the camera in solidarity. Sims said the faces are different, but the message remains the same.

"I think the ultimate messages is that we matter and it's time that everybody recognizes that and respects that," he said. "I really hope that people see the images that I post, and it evokes a strong feeling of love and peace inside of them and I think if they could feel that feeling, these images could last a lifetime."