Summer Fellowship Photoseries

The Misconception of Choctaw County


Team Red of Choctaw County

Amari Teal

Eddy Pierre

Kha'do Crosby

Marlayna Jackson

Shakira McBride

"The series features an alternating peephole effect that is meant to represent the outsiders-insiders phenomenon that we experienced in the field. It also charts the clarity we received over the month. Each of us fellows come from different places, and as young black scholars we all assumed that we would not be welcomed in what we expected was a majority white-conservative uncharted territory. We started as outsiders peering into this small community, then as we began to learn and understand the people, we were welcomed in. We transitioned and became insiders looking out. What we thought the community was, turned out tobe wrong. Abandoned schools, and rusted vehicles reeked of neglect, and presented a cold grim facade. Although cold and Rickety in appearance, the county was surprisingly rich in pride. The faces of the community, the pastors and the children, were black. Their hearts were full and open, and even the unkempt animals were warm. We were able to take a more tailored and personal approach in this community than otherwise expected." - Amari Teal

“Choctaw county is where rust and wood speak a thousand words. Driving through neighborhoods, by abandoned schools, while churches hide in the woods [this is west Alabama].”
— Eddy Pierre - Fellowship Mentor 2017