Exploring the stories of women who live by a ride-or-die philosophy

[PHOTOGRAPHY] Granny and Tanty

By Jalani Morgan | @jalanimorgan

[Note from the Editor: Jalani Morgan is our guest male contributor for the month of January]

I choose these two images as a homage to two women that had exuded what it means to be ‘ride or die.’ Both my grandmothers left their places of birth to come to Canada not for them, but for their children and grandchildren. These photos reflect my motivation to “…want our young people to know the struggles of their elders.” Despite these photos not directly showing that struggle, we as people from the Diaspora can find the struggle within our own grandparents and understand that they tend not to wear that struggle in their faces. I look at both of ‘Granny’ and ‘Tanty’ and see love. Yet I know from the narratives i’ve been told from my family they had to endure much to ensure myself and my family gained some semblance of privilege. So this is my thank you. This is my way of showing that these women’s love shaped me, inspired me and motivated me.
This homage is to pay homage.
Granny and Tanty.
These women.
These two elders.
Shaped my identity by giving my parents an identity.
My identity is nothing without them.

unnamedJalani Morgan has established himself as a photographer, mentor and cultural influence in South Scarborough and the greater arts community in Toronto. Over the past ten years Jalani has built an impressive portfolio creating pieces for: TEDxToronto, Daniel Spectrum Gallery, CONTACT photography festival and has contributed to exhibits at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Most recently Jalani, mentored and taught a group of over twenty emerging photographers. The program [We Are Lawrence] took place over a four month period. The program culminated in an outdoor street exhibit along Lawrence Ave East. This area of Scarborough is routinely under-served, in terms of art investment. For many of the youth this program and mentorship provided the first opportunity to showcase their work. Jalani has played a mentorship role in several other community initiatives including: To Scarborough with Love, a judge panel position with ArtReach Youth Pitch contest and the Remix Project. Jalani is currently working towards a degree at York University in Anthropology and African Studies. He intends to use this education and Anthropological lens to further help him explore representation, Blackness and questions of identity in the African Diaspora

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