When I was in high school I used to think that being a photojournalist meant being this incredibly brave, fearless individual, who would rush into bomb sites and war zones, looking for that perfect photograph to send back overseas. Maybe my imagination was far too active, or I had seen too many movies, but regardless, listening to Ozier Muhammad speak about his career reminded me that in actuality, the life of a photojournalist is a humble one.
“Always be prepared for an opportunity for a dynamic image”, he said to the class.
And that’s all it really is, isn’t it? Muhammad has won numerous awards over the years and has worked at several big name publications, but at the end of the day, the most important thing to do as a photojournalist is to simply always be ready for that next brilliant moment to place itself in front of you.
Naturally, taking photographs several decades ago meant carrying around film and developing it in a dark room. Nowadays, we can easily snap photos on our phones and digital cameras, but every photographer should still have basic knowledge of what makes up a good shot, just as every journalist should have basic knowledge of what makes up a good story.
And of course, don’t ever leave the house without extra batteries.
When we think of journalism, we think of words. But what about the old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Often, the photographs that accompany news stories can be just as impactful as the stories themselves.
Ozier Muhammad is currently a photojournalist with the New York Times, where he has worked since 1992, but he’s held positions at a multitude of impressive establishments over the years. A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, he worked at Ebony Magazine, The Charlotte Observer, and Newsday. Though his work focuses mostly on Africa, he has traveled all over the world for those perfect shots, including Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and more. In 1985, Muhammad was awarded a Pulitzer Prize along with Josh Friedman and Dennis Bell for their work in creating a series of articles called Africa, The Desperate Continent for Newsday.
In addition, his photography was showcased in the 2000 book, One Hundred Jobs: A Panorama of Work in the American City, by Ron Howell.
Warren released the results on Monday in an elaborate affair, clearly attempting to upstage President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed her claims of Native American ancestry and has referred to Senator Warren as “Pocahontas” several times.
At one rally, Trump boasted that he would give 1 million dollars to the charity of Warren’s choice if she could prove her ancestry. But when asked about this statement yesterday, Trump replied with, “I didn’t say that.”
Here is a video evidence that Trump did, in fact, say exactly that.
Native New Yorker and filmmaker Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee knows Brooklyn like the back of his hand. Though born in Atlanta, Georgia, he and his family moved to Fort Greene when he was a small child, and have been there ever since. But over the years, Lee has noticed significant changes in his childhood hometown, and has noticed them all over the city of New York.
And he’s not the only one to take note.
Gentrification is one of the most popular topics in New York right now, and it affects every single borough of the city. Rents are increasing in price, apartment buildings are being torn down and built back up higher, and people are being forced to move.
Brooklyn, and Williamsburg in particular, had been amongst the hardest hit areas of the city. According to a 2015 report by the NYU Furman Center, white populations have increased across the board, while black populations have decreased. Lee’s area of Brooklyn in Fort Greene shows a significant gap in the number of white people living in the area, and the number of black people.
In addition, the increasing population of gentrifying areas is largely due to younger people, with 60nearly 70% of those moving to gentrifying areas being between the ages of 20 and 24.
But it isn’t just families that are feeling the effects. Local businesses are also hurting, and many small practices have been forced to close up shop because they can no longer afford to pay their rent. On notable example includes a recording studio in SoHo, where David Bowie recorded some of his last music. “The Magic Shop” was forced to shut down after the rent price sky rocketed.
As for Lee, it’s upsetting for him to see his little hometown turn into a rapidly changing location. Watch the clip below for some of what Lee had to say.
*Disclaimer: Curse words are used within the audio.*