Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
October 28, 2008

Our Man In Pennsylvania

Many of you have written and forwarded snapshots from Obama rallies, making particular note of the energy, and in the case of the very large outdoor gatherings, the sense of joy and calm. I’m awed, but not an ounce surprised by the grand canyon-like gap between these personal reports and the experience of looking at similar images through the intensely-amped and all too controversy- or just poll-obsessed media sphere. It’s like zen meets crystal meth.

It’s because of the difference I’m glad to have this group of photos Alan Chin shot yesterday and last night in Pittsburgh.

I see someone who has brilliantly transcended the cheap tarring of the “celebrity” tag.

I see someone more ready for us than we are for him given how Bush’s despotic rule has been mainlining cynicism directly into America’s veins.

I see someone who is highly confident but not at all over-confident.

I someone who, in his expression, seems to reflect the steep challenge ahead far more than the electoral task at hand.

What I particularly see — although the white-corporate media hasn’t been all that interested — is an intense pride welling up in so many African-Americans, young and old.

(images © Alan Chin. Pittsburgh, PA. Oct. 27, 2008)

About the Photographer

Alan Chin

Alan Chin was born and raised in New York City’s Chinatown. Alan Chin was born and raised in New York City’s Chinatown. Since 1996, he has worked in China, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. In the US, Alan has explored the South, following the historic trail of the civil rights movement and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, covered multiple presidential campaigns, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. He is a contributing photographer to Newsweek/Daily Beast and The New York Times, a member of Facing Change: Documenting America (FCDA), and an editor at You can see all Alan's posts for BagNews here.

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