Bryon Summers wants to remind Black men that they’re appreciated.
In an empowering photo series titled “We Love You,” the Prince George’s County, Maryland freelance photographer is taking portraits of 1,000 Black men across the country. Frustrated by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, he’s then sharing the images on his Instagram page with the accompanying message: “Thank you for taking back your image. We love you.”
Summers explained to The Huffington Post, “I wanted to find a different and creative way to approach this problem of misrepresentation of Black men in mainstream media . . . I figured if I can photograph 1,000 Black men and we all post them online in solidarity, it can borrow elements of marching to take back our image.”
So far, Summers has captured the photos of men in Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn, New York. He plans to visit Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Miami.
“This is as much an art project as it is a form of protest,” he added. “It’s creative, nonviolent, and has potential to last for generations if not forever. It’s aiming to change the current narrative. It’s uplifting. It’s empowering and beautiful.”
Summers is also selling T-shirts that read “We Love You” on his website, theweloveyouproject.com. Proceeds will go to police brutality victims and their families.
“The message is in the title ― We Love You,” he shared. “You’re strong, handsome role models and no one can take that away. You’re human and should be treated as such.”
See more photos from the project below:
SOURCE: The Huffington Post, Instagram | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty