Thelonious Monk and his Town Hall band in rehearsal, NYC, February 1959. From the Jazz Loft Project.
Yukimi Nagano is the lead singer for the swedish group Little Dragon. My friend Winston at The Couch Sessions put together this project, mixed expertly by Supa Qool DJ Uncle Q and designed by myself, with cover photo by Steffen Brückner. Download here.
Like many young men in the 1990s, I found actress Maia Campbell to be one of the more attractive young black starlets on television. Early on, I discovered that she hailed from the Greater Washington Metropolitan area just as I did and that factoid endeared me to her as well. Of late Maia Campbell has fallen out of the public eye, and has been unfairly ridiculed by her poor life choices fueled by her bout with Schizophrenia. The daughter of late bestselling author Bebe Moore Campbell, Maia found fame on the LL Cool J vehicle In The House. For 3 seasons, the show enjoyed some mild success and Maia Campbell was a prominent fixture of the sitcom. Once the show ended, Maia worked bit parts in television and small movies, but nothing more.
I am not going to play reporter here and try to guess what happened beyond that point. What I do know is that in the last three years, nude photos of an obviously inebriated Campbell and a very recent video of the actress has appeared on the Internet. The gossip blogs, Twitter, message boards and news outlets (such as The Examiner) have all had their say to the inner workings of Ms. Campbell’s fall. We don’t know what’s leading her down this path nor do we know if she’s ever had adequate help – at least as far as what’s been released publicly. However, what is quite telling is how much of my Twitter feed was filled with hurtful jokes about her condition. The blogs and their comment fields were also filled with the same insensitive and lame commentary found in the linked Examiner piece above.
I immediately felt sorrow for Maia Campbell after viewing the video and wanted nothing more than to protect her. It triggered an almost instinctive brotherly reaction. It was if I saw my little sister on that screen and just wanted to snatch that camera away from her antagonist and whisk her away. There wasn’t anything humorous about this scenario. There wasn’t a reason to make this a Twitter topic of the day. It didn’t have to become this ugly display of humanity – anonymous keyboard cowards levying all types of hurtful, insensitive words towards Maia. I’ve just read that there’s a prayer campaign for Maia Campbell and that’s great. I’m not a religious person but this is obviously a step in the right direction so I support it fully.
Many of us know a Maia Campbell, a young person lost to their own devices and lacking the help, love and care needed to rise above whatever demons ails them. Are we to look at Maia Campbell with pity or are we to act when we see this pattern in our respective cities and towns? What did you truly feel when you saw Maia in that state? What would you do if you saw it? Are you witnessing something of this nature now? Are you out there helping to prevent more lost souls? Are you content with reading the insensitive comments and hashtags on Twitter? I know I’m not. I know that any time I can help a person – young or old – I’m going to give whatever time I can spare. I don’t see how we can look at this as a laughing matter. Moreover, for those of you that I know who choose to see humor in such a sad situation, you’ve lost a huge chunk of my respect.
My friend Trevor and I went to check out Governor's Island in New York Harbor last weekend. It has some interesting run-down buildings and art installations. Like an idiot, I ran out of film and didn't get a lot of the island. (click to view full-size)
A new seriesof Penguin editions using unpublished photos from the Magnum Photo Agency's archives.
"For many years Penguin Books has been at the forefront of publishing classic literature and bringing it to a wider public. Penguin has often used Magnum photographs on their covers, ensuring that the same audience gets to see great images from the archive. Magnum is proud to continue this tradition with this latest set of books, where Penguin's choice of images range from the quirky to the classic; these are photographs that truly represents the history and great diversity of Magnum Photos."
Mark Power: Photographer & Vice President London Office, Magnum Photos
"Our starting point was trying to dress six classic works of American reportage in cutting-edge design that properly reflected their style and substance, to bring them to the attention of a whole new readership. When that became a collaboration with Magnum, it suddenly was impossible to imagine doing it any other way. The Penguin Magnum Collection was a partnership that immediately felt right."
Rowland White, Michael Joseph Non-Fiction Publishing Director
Sign | Brooklyn | Nikon F100 + Portra 400NC