Instagram is a powerful tool. It connects people of color in ways that we have not conventionally had access to.
Victor Bolden of the San Francisco 49ers ordered a 2018 Dodge Charger for Next Level Automotive to customize. I was hired to document the experience because of the work displayed on our Instagram page: @talkoakland
First, I received an email from Next Level Automotive in Houston, Texas inquiring about the videos that we create. When I started this project, my intention was never to generate money. But overtime, as people saw my work, they reached out to me to help build their own projects.
During the filming of the project, Brandon, from Next Level Automotive, told me that he distinctly remember the story of Oscar Grant on BART. It struck me. Brandon is from Houston, Texas. And he's only been to the Bay Area a handful of times. But even still, the story of Oscar Grant stayed with him.
I did some organizing supporting that effort. This was my reaction to Johannes Mehserle's sentencing on 11/05/10 in Frank Ogawa Plaza:
Tiyesha Meroe, left, and Kim Webber, center, both of Oakland, react as they learn the news of Johannes Mehserle's sentencing at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. To the right is Anne Weills, of Oakland. Mehserle received a two-year sentence with time served in the shooting death of Oscar Grant on Jan. 1, 2009. (Jane Tyska/Staff)
The trauma that Black people experience from enduring these tragedies is real - and ongoing.