FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - The protests in front of the Allen County Court House in Fort Wayne in reaction to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis brought up feelings of the civil rights movement. One of the most well known photographers of that era was Gordon Parks who once said he could have just as easily picked up a knife or a gun, but instead his choice of weapon against racism was a camera. Following in his footsteps now another "face of change" from Fort Wayne.
"We don't see enough of documented Fort Wanye in photography, especially in the black community," DJ E-Clyps says. "We just don't really see a lot of it. That was kind of thing that burned in me to want to do that."
His passion drives his patience. He waits, watches and listens before taking the perfect shot.
He takes inspiration from Parks. "He showed the perspective of race from a photographer and to me it was really just immersive material."
Parks shot a photo essay for Life magazine in 1956. As an article in the Huffington Post puts it at firs "the rosy images appear idyllic" but take a closer look and they tell the full story. Parks once said, "The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer." That's a sentiment picked up by those who've studied his work.
"I've tried to take the me out of it," DJ E-Clyps says. "I like to keep the focus on why people are here." So when he talks about the national recognition his Fort Wayne photos are getting, naturally … his focus is selfless.
"When time magazine put the picture out of the kid with the bullhorn. i was like one day he's going to be able to show this to his kids and grandkids and say hey I was there. that's going to be a timeless moment for him. i was really thankful that it happened."
He told "Time" that many of the protesters feel unheard and that he hopes his photographs will speak for them. "I'm really glad that's it inspired the City of Fort Wayne a lot. I've gotten a lot of messages from people in Fort Wayne just saying that they've been inspired by it or they've moved by it, or this made them want to donate to organizations .it's made them want to go out and protest. It's made them have some conversations they weren't comfortable having, like, if a photo can make you do that. then i kind of feel like i did my job."