President Obama with Myrlie Evers-Williams, with Nelson Mandela’s daughters Zindzi and Zenani Mandela before a screening of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, with basketball legend Bill Russell, with Thelma Maxine Pippen McNair, mother of Denise McNair after signing H.R. 360 (which commemorates Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robinson, Addie Mae Collins and Denise McNair, slain in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL in 1963), with Rachel Robinson during a film screening of 42: The Jackie Robinson Story, hugging Nobel Peace Prize winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Michelle Obama and waving to President Jakaya Kikwete and First Lady Salma Kikwete of Tanzania, and at honorary doctoral hooding at Morehouse College after giving a commencement address to the men in the photograph below it.
You know how I feel about his politics (complicated) and that commencement address (nopetastic), but I do love these photographs, taken by White House photographer Pete Souza, whose work I love, as a photographer myself. These are lovely. I’m…kinda sighing to myself because I know both his staunch supporters and opponents will erase my links from this caption or alter the caption itself, for divergent yet drastically similar reasons and because the way Tumblr is set up, I’ll have to see them all. So I’m sighing ahead of time.
Anyway, I like the work that Pete Souza does; he makes political photographs interesting. And dangerous. They’re gorgeous and beauty can be deceptive. But I think keeping perspective about what my politics and sociopolitics are and still enjoying images of Black people is a nuance I can manage.