Changing narratives about marginalized communities through film, photography


ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WNCT) An Emmy Award Project in conjunction with UNC-TV is challenging the way we think about other communities.

The Black Light Project is starting to shine its light, not only on the stories of black men and marginalized communities here in Eastern North Carolina but all over the state.

Organizers hope it has an international impact one day. Tonya Lynch of Greenville is using film and photography to achieve that; share the narratives, realities, and narratives of communities of color.

“We all know the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. I want them to come up with their own narrative, Their first instinct. Then I want them to challenge that. I don’t want him to say ‘Oh he’s a black guy, oh I bet he’s this.’ Think for a second then ask yourself ‘Why do I think that?’ ‘Where does that story come from?’ ‘Who crafted that for me?'” said Tonya Lynch, Producer and Creative Director of The Black Light Project.

Since 2016 nearly 30 men have been featured. These men are teachers, barbers, your neighbors, artists, etc. As a mother of 5 boys, Lynch wants to share the stories and lives of the men that live directly in our communities.

“I love President Obama, Cory Booker. We have so many we can name but he’s not in my community. I wanna know that the guy at the barbershop down the street when I take my son there that he cares about my child and he cares about his street being clean,” said Lynch

This project is gaining attention from all over the region and nearby states. The goal is to expand the project and continue to tell the stories of different communities.

You can see the photo exhibit at the Imperial Center in Rocky Mount.

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