One-Shot. Two shots. Three shots.
Fallen Black bodies fill the streets. While our babies stand to salute the flag. Mouths declaring peace. As red blood seeps into the concrete. No justice. No sleep. As new mothers welcome sweet tears from the child's eyes. Yesterday, another headline. Today, Don’t Shoot!
Untitled, Ms. Jolí
All I Need is One Us
Pride. Propaganda. Poverty.
Shedrick Pelt, Washington DC photographer, recalls his childhood, growing up as a military kid. Inside the bubble of America. Safe. Interracial families.Service The red, the white, the blue. Pride.
Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge
Father returns from war. Silence – filled the home. The sound of horns and cheers filled the air. Oversized floats filled the streets as the soles of military boots moved up and down the broken concrete, hands fixed above their brow.
“Feeding you this Pro-America attitude”
Pelt interrupts his childhood memory.
Back home, young Shedrick recalls life after the military for his family. Black families occupied farmland in Alabama. Small, tight-knit. The smell of fresh cut grass filled the air.
Everybody knew everybody. Cookouts. House parties. “Where your community raised you." A tribal experience.
But Shedrick knew the world was convoluted. As a Black kid from the South was curious of the man he was becoming.
"It's almost like I was sleep. Not awake enough to be active in my own life. "
All I Need is One Stop
New York City, where the aromas from your neighbors' pot snuck under your door. Where the lit candles and ballons from lost loved ones filled street sign poles and bodega alleyways. Where the strut in your step contributed to the heartbeat of the city.
The city that never sleeps.
The city that commands you.
Your presence. To belong.
A Black man from the South was ready to capture the roses that grew from the concrete. Untold stories.
"Harlem was dope!"
"When there was a little bad behavior. A little poor off-colored joke."
Shedrick reflects as a young man his role as a photographer.
“Photography is how I gravitate toward representing my point of view.”
"I'm always anticipating the moment."
Shedrick shares the roots of his photography.
The Genesis of Sdotpdotmedia.
"I have to be ready - Sometimes there are ah-hah moments and cumulative events that add substance to the story."
Shedrick attended the Washington DC march at the @blackvotersmtr Freedom Stop outside of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Black civil rights activist and icon was one of the voices of the people.
"I found myself drawn to his weathered eyes closed by the Sun but sharp as a hawk. How many fire hoses, dogs, lynching ropes, racist cops had he stared down over the years" - Shedrick
Recess Can Wait, 2021
All I Need is One Life, One Try, One Breath, I'm One Man
The camera was his voice. It amplified the stories of the communities. The passion. The love. The joy. The pain. The silent cries of its people.
Shedrick parallels the Queens, NYC hip-hop artist, Nas.
Twenty years ago, Nas took to the microphone and shook the nation! 'One Mic' lyrics were described as 'a crescendo of declaration and rage, then coming back, to seek a way to make a difference, with that precious one mic.'
In an interview, the hip - hop artist' confessed, 'One Mic' just gives me the ability, no matter how much ignorant people are mad that I'm exposing or talking about our country, no matter what the language is, I'm talking in a language that the people can hear, I'm not sugar-coating it. So if it scares people and people feel guilty, people feel like they've got to make up excuses to why the world's this way, no matter what they say, like they've got their mic, I've got mine.'
Nas - One Mic (2002)
Queens HIp-Hop Artist All I need is one life, one try, one breath, I'm one man What I stand for speaks for itself, they don't understand Or wanna see me on top, too egotistical Talkin' all that slick s*** stuff, well my name is Biblical Wonder what my secrets is, ***** move on you Only if they know what your weakness is, I have none
Shedrick, like Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, reflects the nation's guilt! And with a single shot, exposes the ills of the America and its excuses.
All I Need is One (Single) Shot
Trivial Pursuits Activist Art Series, Shedrick Pelt
𝟷𝟼𝚡𝟸𝟶 𝙻𝚞𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚎 𝙰𝚛𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚟𝚊𝚕 𝙿𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚝
𝙷𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚂𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝙿𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝙵𝚛𝚊𝚖e, 𝙰𝚗𝚝𝚒-𝙶𝚕𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝙶𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚜
"They try to 'nice' our experiences up.
Nah, just say what needs to be said!"
While marching with activists, attending rallies, and celebrating the defeat of fascist leaders, the war cry “We Keep Us Safe” opened Shedrick's eyes to an integral part of this experience: holding space together against the powers that be.
"My work -- informed by trying to 'find my place in the tribe' my culture and community"
All I Need is One Opportunity
Shedrick has created a space where his visions of storytelling extends far beyond the lens of the camera.
"If you want some impact, you have to keep it real"
Breonna Taylor Verdict
Reflecting on his photojournalism career, he understands his journey as a Black photojournalist was no easy walk in the city park. The commitment to document and create dialogue in his work continues to be the priority. "Will the moment."
"I wish somebody would have given me these jewels...it doesn't cost me nothing to help a little homey out."
Shedrick believes the stories of the community are best told as a collective. Through mentorship, have collaborated across the DC art community in creating intentional spaces and opportunities for the Black storytellers of our times - Black artists and curators.
"I want to find ways for people to include their work in the things I'm doing.”
Look Hear Gallery 2021(Dupont Underground)
@sdotpdotmedia @reichro @dupontunderground @dvzie @alexander_jah
march for voters rights
Portraits w/ Pentax 6x7 on Kodak TMAX 400
"I want to create work that lives on"
lives lost march
All I Need is One Mic
How does your art take up space?
"Right now I am taking up space for myself..elevating and getting myself right."
"Just being present. Being active in my own life"
Shedrick goes on to share a desire to stretch his lens into the world across unique, niche communities. Immersing himself in the culture. "Like going into a blind community or Afghan village for a year, and telling their story."
”Transition through life with a bold new approach.”
BlkArthouse has collaborated with Shedrick in a number of Black art exhibitions including the 'What is Black Art" Juneteenth exhibition (left) and this past winter exhibition, 'The Essence of a Black Woman.'
This February, Shedrick will be curating “Attacks on Democracy: Through the Lens of a Black Photojournalist,” Friday, February 25, 2022 @7PM hosted at Gallery O on H, which aims to re-examine the January 6 insurrection and the shutdown of DC through the lens of Black photojournalists.
BlkArthouse founder, Tatiana Rice will sit down with Shedrick and other Black photojournalists to discuss their experiences on the grounds of the capital, and the importance of Black photojournalism today!
Follow @sdotpdotmedia for new and upcoming projects. If you are ever in Washington DC, be sure to keep your eyes open and catch your light for the shot! You could be standing right in the middle of Shedrick's story!
Shedrick Pelt full biography can be found HERE.
Note from the Creative Director.
It's artists like you that use their superpowers to tell our stories.
Until you shoot again. Continue to capture tomorrow today
Ms. Joli, Creative Director