That summer, between Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, it just happened right after each other. You just feel helpless in those moments. The thing that I did notice was how much that imagery was affecting me. Seeing a video or a screenshot of a scene like that. I’m pretty sure it’s not just me, but everybody is taking in this type of imagery, and it’s affecting them in different ways. How do you respond to that? What we see daily is so important, and how it makes us feel. It made me think about how imagery is important in our everyday life.
There’s a self-realization you come to as a Black person or person of color in America. I had to come to terms with knowing that this could possibly happen to me at any point in my life. But what can I do to combat that? Imagine if you’d seen the opposite of that. Something that uplifts you. Something that makes you feel like this is relatable to you. Something that makes you feel like you have life. Imagine the power of that. That’s how TONL came to life.