In April, shortly after having marked one full year of life and lockdown in a global pandemic that caused a heartbreaking quagmire of loss in BIPOC communities, The New York Times posted a photographic essay entitled, "Four Studies in Black Healing."
Shot by photographers Gioncarlo Valentine and Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., the two men traveled to various states across the South to document the routines Black Americans adopted in order to weather their emotions over the course of this past year. The result is a stirring, visually stunning meditation on Ritual, Relationships, Space, and Care. The artistic choice to combine images and words provides a deep sense of compassion and humanity for not only the subjects of the piece, but for the artists themselves.
If you did not catch the photo essay earlier this year, we invite you to view it here. If you did read the piece back in April, you won’t be disappointed to revisit it. Each time I take in “Four Studies in Black Healing,” I am moved by a new element of its thoughtful documentation. Artwork like this is truly a gift.