"Georgia is beautiful but disturbing and strange" - W.E.B. Dubois
Invisible Empire is a photo essay that explores the tension at Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Georgia. These landscape images are my visual journey of this appealing mountain, which is anchored by a memorial that became a symbol of the White South and the making of the rebirth of the second KKK.
On a sunny day, as I walked through this serene park looking at the yellow daisies, called Confederate Daisies, I asked myself: What does it mean to absorb this energy in a public space? How should I feel confronted with this symbol of the confederacy, which has terrorized black people for generations, while enjoying the alluring beauty of the mountain 10 minutes from my house?
My mother and father grew up during the Jim Crow era. In their daily lives, they endured the trauma of racial hatred. I know I have internalized the same psychological upheaval my parents had to face during their lifetime. But I try to imagine what liberation looks like from this painful legacy of violence in the United States.
#1960Now is Bright's journey documenting the responses to the police shooting in Atlanta, Ferguson, Baltimore Washington, D.C. and Baton Rouge. I observed young social activists taking a stand against the same struggles their parents and grandparents endured during the era of Jim Crow.
In 2013 while photographing under-recognized living leaders of the Civil Rights movement, I made a connection between today’s times and the climate of the 1960s that inspired the #1960Now project.
Young Americans series exhibited as a solo show at the High Museum of Atlanta in 2008, curated by Julian Cox, Deputy Director & Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada. The work examines the attitudes and values of Generation Y as American citizens. The series shows diverse young Americans, who are new to the voting system and exploring ideas of what it means to be American. The sitters expressed their perspectives in a statement and posed in their chosen stance with the American flag.
In 2012 Bright took the Young Americans portraits to the streets of Art Basel Miami, wheat pasting eleven images in the Coconut Grove neighborhood on buildings and abandoned homes that are often unnoticed in the urban landscape.
Suburbia is a series which takes aim at the American media's projection of the "typical" African American community and depicts a more realistic and common ideology of African American life. The series also explores the variations and similarities of an existence that subverts lifestyle and culture, particularly as it relates to Americanism.
Plastic Bodies is a series that show the impact that media and advertising play in defining beauty for girls and women and how Barbie is used in Western culture to encourage one standard of beauty.
Grillz is a body of photographic portraits of black males who wear their gold teeth as a connection to an African culture long past. Within the Hip Hop community, however, gold teeth have become signifiers of a lifestyle, status, or “manhood,” all questioning the notion of what is merely fashionable and what is culture.