I believed I could have a “F#!* the Police” mentality without putting my two law-enforcing parents into that category. I rationalized that belief because my parents are good people, making them good cops. However, that was not a conclusion I could come to for every cop. When the deaths of unarmed black civilians became more public, I started to question how any black person could put on a uniform that started to represent danger for anyone with their skin tone. How does one deal with the duality of the two identities? What perspective does a black police officer have when it comes to their duty, their black life and the lives around them?
My parents became cops to help people — helping people is their calling. Being a police officer was their job. Stepping in and out of that role was critical to making sure they came home every night, and that they came home as people first. It’s the same for the officers featured in this work. Before, during, and at the end of watch, their black lives matter even when they are outlined in blue.
Daniel D. Edwards is an artist that uses photography to address sensitive social and personal topics. His goal is to spark constructive conversation. He primarily uses narrative portraiture and also utilizes alternative processes and still life. Having his hands in the creation of the work is important to him and without a story, his work doesn’t have a purpose.
Edwards’ work is a culmination of multiple interests with the goal of creating a solid foundation for his non-profit, BlackVign. As a multimedia non-profit, BlackVign is focused on collecting and telling the stories that represent life as it is truly lived. BlackVign connects its audience to lives that are otherwise lived in secret, showing that all life is beautiful. BlackVign will be a platform for other artists to create and showcase their work. One of the main criteria is that the work has to be socially-engaged. That is, it has to get the viewer to think critically about the topic at hand.
In addition to having a platform to support other artists, he plans to teach photography. He would like to be the guide he didn’t have for an aspiring photographer.