Project: BW$PMore from the project

Chad by Justin Korn

Meet Chad.

Chad was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, barefooted with a cup filled with spare change, a dollar and a cigarette.

As I approached Chad, he only kept staring at me, not saying anything.  I approached him slowly and said, “Hey, how are you doing?”  He responded, with a cigarette in hand, shaking slightly, “Man, can you spare any change?”  I said, “Sure, I’m actually working on a project, offering a dollar to anyone who asks me for money, in exchange for a portrait.”  Chad accepted the offer, I gave him a dollar and before I could even get my camera ready, asked if I could give him another.  I told him, the project was for one dollar, but I’ve got a buddy walking around doing two dollar portraits.  He didn’t argue, but said I could only take a picture of the tattoo on the back of his head.  I agreed that would be fine.

Chad came to San Francisco from New York seven years ago and is currently on probation.  According to him, he continuously gets harassed by the cops and gets thrown into jail for doing nothing.  He embellished on the fact that they hit him in the head for no reason and then threw him in jail.  “I don’t understand, they don’t mind the black guys out here selling drugs, but, me, I aint doing nothing and I get my ass thrown in jail.  This is a free country, why can’t I live on the street corner if I want to?  I can live where I want.  They can’t tell me where to go.”

After finding out that the tattoo of the dragon on Chad’s head was the year he was born (year of the dragon), I wished him good luck and continued on my way.

This image is part of my Black and White Dollar Portrait (BW$P) Project.

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Categorized: Projects