More

How do you document the Black Lives Matter movement? These 10 images are a powerful start.

These photos look past the chaos to see the people behind this impassioned fight for equality.

How do you document the Black Lives Matter movement? These 10 images are a powerful start.

When Natalie Keyssar graduated from art school in 2009, she was convinced she wanted to be a photojournalist instead.

She didn't want to spend her time by herself in a studio. She wanted to be out in the world, among the people exploring whatever was going on at the time.

She also found while studying painting that subjects that related to current events, activism, and protest movements inspired her. The young artist was using a lot of photojournalism as reference for her paintings in art school.


Keyssar already knew about color and composition from studying art. She just needed to hone her photography skills. She took on internships to get that coveted hands-on experience.  

"I think in a lot of ways painting and photography are almost the same thing in certain ways — it's just a different tool," she muses.

Keyssar grew up in North Carolina. She says as a kid she was always very aware of, and outraged by, instances involving police brutality.

Then in the fall of 2014, a wave of societal unrest erupted, beginning with the shooting of an unarmed young black man.

On Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, just outside St. Louis.

"I had a sense that it was gonna be a really important moment in America, historically," Keyssar explains. She never gave it a second thought. She just had to go and cover the tragic shooting that would take her on a yearlong journey of documentation and discovery.

Here are 10 of the most powerful images by Keyssar from the #BlackLivesMatter movement:

1. Bishop Derrick Robinson is arrested on Nov. 30, 2014, in Ferguson.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

This particular image stands out in Keyssar's mind, she says, because it encompasses the unrest at the time. Robinson is a prominent leader of the Black Lives Matter movement. She remembers him peacefully protesting outside a Rams game in St. Louis at a public park.

"Riot police just went for him. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a police officer, but as a journalist, I saw nobody break any kind of law," Keyssar says. "I just saw five men in full tactical gear tackle a clergyman to the ground and arrest him for peacefully protesting in a public park. That was profoundly disturbing to me, and honestly I think it should be profoundly disturbing to everyone."

2. Kids dance to music playing from a truck with the words "no shoot, no loot" on Aug. 19, 2014, in Ferguson.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

3. Carrie Chambers poses for a photo on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson on Aug. 19, 2014.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

4. A protester is bathed in police lights after the Millions March on Dec. 13, 2014, following the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

5. Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Baltimore on April 29, 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

6. Police dressed in tactical gear enforce a curfew in Baltimore on April 28, 2015.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

Keyssar says she was used to seeing other issues abroad. "Seeing this sort of really, really militarized police landscape in this American, sort of traditional stereotypical American landscape was sort of profound for me."

7. "I love peace and harmony and joy," said 87-year-old Clara Thornton, pictured below. "I'm praying for both sides ... we're all children of God."

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

8. Artist Dimitri Reeves performs Michael Jackson covers in Baltimore on May 1, 2015, after it was announced charges would be filed in the Freddie Gray case.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

9. A man in his car shows support to protesters with a gesture in Baltimore on April 28, 2015.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

10. Marcus Mopkins wipes off the sweat from his brow before posing for a portrait in Ferguson on Aug. 19, 2014.

Image by Natalie Keyssar, used with permission.

This last image is also profoundly special to Keyssar. Marcus was one of the first people she photographed when she got to Ferguson. It was brutally hot that day, but he was dedicated. She considers him her introduction to this powerful experience that began in Ferguson.

"My goal with my work is always to convey nuance and create a jumping off point for a complex and necessary conversation."

What Keyssar doesn't want is for her work to reinforce anyone's biased narrative.

She wants her images from Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York to show the breadth of people, the humanity of those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I really want people to see other people. I think that's the foundation."

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.