Juxtapoz Magazine – Steven Sweatpants: Back to Basics and the Year of the Protest Photo


“This is the first night that the city had established a curfew. I remember my mom telling me to watch my back when I went out that night. I didn’t know what to expect. The commute from Bed Stuy to uptown felt faster than ever. My palms were lightly sweating and my thoughts were moving faster then the train. But when I finally got out, and saw the thousands of humans in unison, I felt immediately at ease. My soul was blanketed with conviction and reassurance that we were in this together. The further we walked into the night, the stronger we grew as movement. The closer the clock moved towards curfew, the more empowered we all felt. While I was walking in the crowd and documenting for The New Yorker this summer night, I literally walked into a car. It was somehow masked in the center of the crowd, just creeping at a slow speed but with allies in the whip in solidarity. Me and the brother made direct eye contact with each other, and he sat on top of the car and slowly raised his fist. That moment felt like the definition of what it not only felt to be out that night, but how we will define our generation’s stance on the black experience.” —Steven Sweatpants

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