February is Black History Month and this photograph was one of the prints on display during solo exhibitions I had at New York City’s African Burial Ground National Monument and other venues.
The burial ground, located in Mastic Beach, Long Island, is believed to be the site where some of William Floyd’s slaves are buried. Floyd signed the Declaration of Independence and was a General serving under George Washington.
My experience in seeing these lone crosses bearing generic slave names was profound. I wanted the photograph to suggest what I was feeling at that time.
I experimented with a special lens and with a flash – which I don’t use very often, especially outdoors – to create the distortions and blurs. So the effect was achieved on the spot rather than in Photoshop, which I only used to change the original color image into a sepia tone.
I had previously posted a News 12 report about this collection. Here’s the full uncut interview:
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