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Lesson of the Day: ‘Four Studies of Black Healing’

4. Read the introduction of chapter two, “Relationships,” that begins with, “During this journey….” Then, as you read the rest of the section, choose one image and one quote that you think best illustrates the main idea from the introduction. Explain why you chose the image: What about it was particularly moving or evocative to you?

5. This section explores the themes of love, loss, struggle, home and legacy. Choose one of those themes that you connected to personally: How would you capture it in a photograph or drawing? If you want, you can take a picture or sketch a drawing, or you can describe it using vivid language and details.

6. Now visit chapter three, “Space,” by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., which explores the restorative properties of physical space. In what ways is the Shady Grove Camp Ground an example of this kind of space, both presently and historically?

7. Acorn Center for Restoration and Freedom and the New Orleans for Lincoln Beach both appreciate the relationship between rest and work while also centering the histories and healing practices of Black people. What is one image or quote that stood out to you about the work that these two groups are engaging in?

8. In chapter four, “Care,” Mr. Brown begins by writing, “I often photograph negative space….” How do you understand “negative space” based on his description and the photographs from this section? Choose one image and describe how the use of negative space photography affected your experience and understanding of the image.

9. Mr. Brown integrates his personal family story, and photographs, into part of this section. After reading his work and seeing his other photographs, how did his vulnerability and self-reflection change or deepen your understanding of his writing and art?

The article started with this prompt: “After a year of disproportionate loss from the pandemic and the continuous threat of police violence, on top of centuries of discrimination and disenfranchisement, what does healing look like for Black Americans?”

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