“It’s Legit Community Effort”: Impressions of Ferguson

 

By Phoenix Calida.  

This past weekend, Phoenix Calida delivered food and supplies to residents of Ferguson, Missouri.  This is her photo essay.  All photos by Phoenix.

  • If you’re in Ferguson, please respect the residents’ privacy. Just because they talk they don’t want their face splashed all over. They have to live here after you leave.

march

  • So much frustration. And people who are at a loss for words just look at me and say: “You’re from Chicago you understand.”

class war

  • White people no faux pas please. Don’t just assume people need food or anything else. Ask first.  She said “just cause I’m a nigger don’t mean I’m homeless and need food.”#awkward

 

  • Next time they ask what point looting serves, show them this pic:”You don’t respect our lives, we don’t respect your property. Avenge Mike brown”

respect

  • Everybody honks for solidarity when they drive by. Protesters, volunteers, clean up crew, residents. It’s legit community effort. #solidarity

cleaning

  • Volunteers praying. Preacher said:”Every body has a right to live. I’ve fought all over the country, but today I’m fighting for y’all. I’m fighting for this baby girl. She has a right to live. We all have a right to live”

 

  • People are hugging me, saying “God bless you.” One lady is crying.She didn’t even know about how hard this hit social media outside #Ferguson They are shocked when I say I’m from #chicago. They thought they were alone. They didn’t know people were gonna come in and show solidarity.They really thought it was just them vs the world because nobody cares bout them

 

  • Nobody wants to be on camera officially, but literally I’m just walking up to random people, asking what they need, why they out here, asking their thoughts.Nobody has been rude, everybody is willing to talk about fears and frustrations when you ask them.

 

  • These people aren’t thugs. These are people in pain who feel voiceless.They want to talk. They want to let it out. They want to be heard, they will tell us everything, if we just listen

 

  • Also, I’m exhausted but I have thoughts. Ghetto economics, is that a thing?Like the looting was hardcore, but not violent. It was more about desperation than anger. People were stealing food. Groceries. Medicine.Even people who stole alcohol and cigarettes were trying to sell items but at a very low price. It wasn’t capitalism. It wasn’t greed. It was something else. There a peacefulness and sense of community. Sharing items, sharing food, making deals, bartering. It wasn’t the “savage animals being felons” the way the media portrays it. It was hood economics in action.

food

  • And someone just pointed a gun at me. To me to go.  It was a misunderstanding. I was taking pics of a looted building and a looter happened to come out at the same moment.  Ironically, he offered me a cigarette when I was walking to the car. And he was still walking with a gun in his hand. But he knew I wasn’t there to narc, so all good, although mildly terrifying.

 

  • There’s looting, fireworks, loud noise, but no immediate violence. Even white reporters are walking around looking calm

 

  • People trying to set liquor store on fire.

 

  • Just gave out $309 worth of food.

 

 

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