Lens & Context -
Livin' 4the City

Livin' 4the City | © Preston Lewis thomas

Street Drummers in Chicago.
We all find ways to pay the rent.

Sitting on the steps of the Art Institute along with people from every walk of life, listening to these Brothers play… enjoying the moments. I couldn’t help but think, “had these men been encountered anywhere else, what would be the response?”

A cursory glance beyond the plastic buckets revealed three serious examples of Black masculinity. The fear of a Black hat – reasons to enslave, to jail, to lynch, to castrate, or to hide the white women… which I guess you really don’t have to do if you do those other things.

These days, when it is so easy for us to find ourselves incarcerated or dead for “Living While Black”, I found myself considering the mortality of these cats whose beats and rhythms had me happily bobbing my head and stomping my feet.

I reconnect.
All around me a multiplicity of local humans were unanimously hooked on this impromptu performance.

This food, clothing, and shelter concert in 4/4, 6/8, and sweat.