O’FALLON, Mo. – A local mother used the power of photography to raise awareness about inequality and police brutality in our community in the wake of the death of George Floyd – all for the sake of her daughter’s future.
Marina Laramie is the mother of a biracial daughter.
“When I saw George Floyd go through what he went through it hit me in a different way. It weighed on me. It weighed on me for my daughter,” said Marina Laramie.
She organized a peaceful protest in front of the Ferguson Police Department on Monday afternoon. Black and white men, women, and children alike united to stand for the safety and protection of black lives through the power of photography.
Laramie then reached out to the community to help put together a powerful photo shoot.
“What better way than to put faces, young faces, on the names of the people we have lost?”
Chris Orange is a local poet and co-owner of LouLife Apparel. He is a black man who lives in St. Louis and was present for the photoshoot.
He expressed his frustration and anger as a black man in America, especially in the midst of what most are calling the new Civil Rights Movement. Despite his pain, he was honored to work with Laramie and shed new light on the issue of race and disparity.
He said the atmosphere was “amazing” and “electrifying”. He hopes these photos will help create change for future generations.
“That’s who we’re doing this for. For the generations to come. We want them to not be in fear and to be treated right and to be treated fair,” said Orange.
Derek Davis was one of the photographers who volunteered their time to participate in the protest.
“It’s hard to know exactly what you can do to support the community, but you can very much so feel the pull to do so. So, as a photographer myself, this was exactly what I could do,” said Derek Davis.
“I want people to see these pictures, and I want white people to feel something and I want black people to feel heard,” said Laramie. “That’s all we’re trying to do here is make an impact and help.”
As a white mom raising a biracial daughter, she hopes her efforts now will path the way for brighter tomorrow.
Orange was grateful to Marina for organizing the event. He had everything positive to say about Marina and her efforts to create a positive change and be an example to her daughter, Lucie.
He said, “For her to see her mom even in just the pictures or videos to see that she’s been fighting for the black lives matter because with everything that’s going on, knowing that she hasn’t been silent – she’s going to have a sense of pride. For Marina to put that together I was very amazed.”
Laramie was adamant that now is not the time for white Americans to sit back and do nothing. She is pleading with the white community to step up and speak out on behalf of the black community.