Alternate depiction of Black fatherhood offered by Toronto photographer and physician Zun Lee in his new book, Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood.
BY MAURICE BERGER
An anxious little girl hugs her father as a shark swims overhead in an aquarium. A man feeds his baby as he keeps a mindful eye on his three other rambunctious children. A single father reveals the tattoo on his forearm that depicts him as his son’s guardian angel. A young man poses proudly with the teacher he sees as a father figure.
While these photographs depict everyday situations, they are in one sense unusual: Their subjects are black and counter mainstream media that typically depict African-American fatherhood as a wasteland of dysfunction and irresponsibility. These images appear in a groundbreaking new book, “Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood” (Ceiba), by Zun Lee, a photographer and physician based in Toronto. A reception and book signing to mark its release will take place Friday night at the Bronx Documentary Center.
A Sandinista guerilla in Jinotega in 1978
The Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) are a democratic-socialist political party in Nicaragua that led their country in a revolution, overthrowing the Somoza Dynasty of dictators and going up against the full force of U.S. imperialism.
Named after Augusto César Sandino, who led a rebellion against American colonization from 1927-33, the FSLN rose in response to the corruption following the 1972 Managua earthquake, with the government embezzling international aid funds and leaving the people in extreme poverty. The FSLN overthrew the dictatorship in 1979, with the help of their United People’s Movement, made up of students and labor groups who held strikes and protests.
After the successful people’s revolution, the United States funded the “Contras”, a counterrevolutionary group made up of Somoza’s National Guard. The American government claimed that the Sandinistas must be stopped in order to stop communism and preserve democracy. In reality, one of the core principles of the FSLN was democracy, and they had no communist affiliations until the U.S. agression, when they were forced to take Soviet aid.
After Congress passed the 1982 Boland Amendment, prohibiting American aid of the Contras, the Reagan Administration continued a covert involvement in Nicaragua. This culminated in the infamous Iran-Contra affair, in which senior officials of the executive branch sold missiles and other military weapons to Iran in exchange for the return of seven American hostages, and used the profits of that sale to illegally continue to fund the Contras. Although President Reagan was an open supporter of the Contras, it is disputed as to whether or not he was involved in the scandal.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011), Göran Hugo Olsson
You heard it right folks, the FBI considered free breakfasts for poor children to be the most dangerous internal threat to the country. Literally the kind of thing Jesus would do was the most dangerous threat to the country.
Well that just shows you what kind of country this truly is…
I wanted to take a bit of a break from work to draw something that wasn’t just a doodle, but I don’t have enough time for a big illustration so I did this. Luv the Peto.