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Former Gang Member Finds Beauty and Peace as a Community Photographer

Jovan “Bonna” Lamb spent my childhood years in Overtown, an historical black community in northwest Miami. As a poor inner city kid, his story was starting out follow the tragic tale of many young men before him - including his brother. When he got into possession of a youtube video camera, though, his life took over a new meaning. In this video, Bonna discusses how photography transformed his life into something positive, in spite of the odds:

Photojournalism has been online since the United States Government sent photographers with the soldiers to document the American Civil War. It was not until the 1930s that photography was used to educate the globe about the struggles of the poor and marginalized members of society.

It was still longer, through the turbulent civil rights era, the people claimed this from the comfort of the big newspapers - the right to tell their very own story their own way, by creating their particular images of the entire world as they saw it. This cultural shift has inspired generations of people to feel empathy, and occasionally even envy, where their parents and grandparents felt only pity and contempt.

miami street photography

The healing power of self-expression can’t be understated; the creation of art, no matter what kind, fosters a sense of identity - and for that reason strength - in the photographer along with the subject, plus the case of Overtown, within the entire community that they are an important part. It can even save lives, as it may well have saved Bonna Lamb’s.

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