PHL Black Lives Matter
Photo essay book of images captured during social justice protests and unrest across Philadelphia in the summer of 2020. All sales will be donated to Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (https://www.plsephilly.org/) to help 10 people receive a second chance at life by expunging their records that are holding them back.
Photography by Matthew Scott Barber: https://www.instagram.com/matthewscottbarber/
Cover Art by ArtPce: https://www.instagram.com/artpce/
Matthew Scott Barber - Artist Statement:
In 2003, I came from an extremely rural area to Philadelphia to attend Temple University via an urban immersion program. They educated us ignorant kids about social justice, racism, and urban ethics. Those lessons changed my perspective and made me realize the country’s inequalities caused by years of oppression, racism, and disenfranchisement. I learned about the struggles of those who were not born into privilege like myself as a white male. I saw those treated differently because of the color of their skin and learned that it’s on us all to confront racism. The experience stuck with me for the rest of my life. My world view and my faith changed. Then Philly became my home. Fast forward to May 30th, 2020, and it all became REAL through my camera lens. On that day, I attended a peaceful protest at City Hall and the Art Museum in honor of George Floyd. What started as a unified congregation of citizens descended into chaos after protests collided with police. This happened across the nation in almost every major city as the desire for justice collided with the powers of inequality. I witnessed the true pain of racism. I saw the righteous anger of protest. I saw the violence of division. I witnessed governing by intimidation. But in the end saw the hope of unity. I’ll never be the same after capturing these photos.
ArtPce - Halimah Smith - Artist Statement:
Art is my eternal protest. When I started creating art, my sole purpose was to uplift people that look like myself. Now every piece I make serves a greater purpose. Growing up, I had to work harder, be mindful of the tone of my voice, and adjust my nature to be more professional because of the texture of my hair and the color of my skin. The individuals who made me feel like this did not look like me. I, along with many others, learned at an early age to be unauthentically myself to acquire America’s idea of success. Artpce is an outlet for me to create art that shows just how beautiful, kind, smart, creative, and unmovable Black people are. The images you are about to see in this work of art is a representation of Black people knowing they deserve more and not being afraid to express that knowledge in whatever way they see fit. Through peaceful protests, riots, prayer, music, community, and even art, we are eternally protesting for justice and equality.