The men and women who were asked to participate in this project are all part of what I consider to be “my generation.” We are close in age. Many of us grew up together and despite the different paths we have chosen for ourselves in life, we are still close and see each other regularly to this day. Those who agreed to visit the photography studio were encouraged to wear what they liked best. We did several sessions with different groups of people. Each time, the entire group would stand behind the camera along with the photographer to encourage and coach the person whose portrait was being taken. Each person was given the opportunity to choose the photograph they felt best represented them. Text incorporated into the portraits, written by us, gives viewers a glimpse into our hopes for one other and the depths of ourselves. “The Exquisite Lumbee” book exists to demonstrate that, although we as a people run the gamut of skin colors, hair colors and hair textures, we do have a distinctive quality, character and style. We recognize each other. We are exquisite.
Photos by Sean Scheidt