March 4, 2008

Our Man In Ohio #3: One Of Our Own

This is the third in a 48 hour series of Ohio primary dispatches from photojournalist and BNN Contributer Alan Chin.

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Perhaps race is a sensitive subject to discuss in the campaign because it isn’t supposed to matter.  Or, perhaps it is delicate talking about black pride in Obama out of caution not to detract from, or conflict with the pride so many women feel for Hillary.

What is unmistakable, however, is the engagement of black audiences with the candidate.  In many newswire photos of late, one can see black boys transfixed while listening to Obama.  One can juxtapose those images with the statistics, reported last week, that 1 in 100 Americans are in jail, including one in fifteen African-Americans, and one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

The metaphor that one generation evolves from standing on the shoulders of the previous seems relevant here, as is the fixed attention of the young man with the decorated letter jacket, getting a look at Obama in his own high school field house.

One Percent of All American Adults are Incarcerated (Crooked Timber)

(image: ©Alan Chin. Westerville, Ohio, outside Columbus. March 2, 2008.  Used by permission)

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Michael Shaw
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