The death of yet another Black man at the hands of police has spurred many citizens into acting, including prominent Wichita photographer Eddie Legacy, and media entrepreneur and director Keenen Smith.
Through social media, Legacy asked 100 Black to participate in an act of solidarity. His goal: to change the view of Black men as thugs. The 100 fashionable dressed men — from children to well-seasoned adults – gathered in unity and strength for a peaceful demonstration that Legacy, with his unique eye, captured on film.
At a young age, Legacy knew he wanted to see more unity from Blacks. “Being from the Northside, it wasn’t common for me to see. I saw mostly chaos and gangbanging. So, I wanted to see a group of Black kings from my city, come together and show strength in our unity.”
The project, titled #100KingMarch, was filmed in Wichita’s historic Old Town. Legacy capture then men as a group with Wichita’s Historic Union Station as a backdrop. He also captured them as they stood shoulder to shoulder across Douglas, blocking traffic on Wichita’s main downtown thorough fair.
Then as Legacy does so well, he captured each individual through his lens, highlighting their uniqueness. They were more than generic black men; they were fathers and sons, students and athletes, community members and faith leaders. These Black men were celebrated, instead of gathering in the somber climate of anger and hostility.
When asked why he was participating in the march, Tevin Thomas had this to say, “We’ve been taking too many losses as a community, and I believe that God put us here for a purpose to love each other, more than money. We’re here for salvation and peace. God put me here to stand in the gap for those that won’t; to say that Black lives do matter, it’s not a confrontational thing, it’s a fact.”
The entire gathering – including an opening prayer by Pastor Harris of St. James, the singing of the Black National Anthem by The Voice Finalist Injoy Founatin, and words of wisdom by ZeEv Binyamin — will be edited and turned into the video for an original song called “I Can’t Breath” written by Legend.
Look for the release later this month.