From the top of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke, delivering a sermon to the world, one that resonates in our mind’s ear whenever we hear the words, “I have a dream.” The timbre of his voice is permanently imprinted on our soul, his words among the most patriotic ever spoken. On the eighth anniversary of the brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, Dr. King’s testimony was centuries in the making, calling forth the ancestors of this country’s earliest days.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter,” Dr. King warned. There is an exquisite horror to the dying soul that lurks within the living body, feasting upon flesh and bone. It has been said that silence equals death; to speak against injustice and oppression is the essence of what it means to be American. These are the words that photographer Radcliffe “Ruddy” Roye carries within himself, revealing on his Instagram: “It is a creed I live by at whatever cost.”
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Photo: Ruddy Roye. Blood, Sweat and Tears (Ryan), Morton Street, Newark, NJ, December 19, 2015 Archival pigment print on metallic paper, printed 2016, 35 x 35 in Edition of 10; Signed by photographer verso