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Monday, 14 November 2016

'What will most help my community right now?'

picture by Danny Lyon/Magnum Photos

That's Judy Richardson in the Guardian's That's me in the picture series. She's the one looking out from the middle of the frame, This is what she says about the picture.

'We staged regular sit-ins, like this one photographed by the great Danny Lyon, in all-white restaurants like this Toddle House. They followed a similar pattern: the staff got angry and refused to serve you; the police arrived and asked you to leave; we refused, and went limp as we were taken to the county jail. I would be detained for five or six days, but I had it easy: I was never beaten.

We made $9.64 a week, and were fed and housed by local families or in dorms paid for by the office. We’d often have parties to let off steam.

Today, young black men are still arrested for no reason, but thanks to social media people can film arrests and hold the police to account. I understand people’s anger, and that throwing a brick will make you feel better. But my advice to black teenagers is to do something constructive: get involved in local organising; go into schools and give tutorials. Think: “What will most help my community right now?”'

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