|Bud Biliken Day dancers (photo by Vic Speedwell)|
When I asked readers to offer snapshots for this new Saturday feature, I had no idea the quality I would be getting. Beautiful nature shots, fun travel photos. I was gratified to receive hundreds of submissions.*
But far-and-away the best, in my view, is this photo of dancers waiting for the Aug. 11 Bud Billikin parade, sent by Matt Grosspietsch, who writes:
My wife Vic Speedwell took the attached photo at yesterday’s Bud Billiken parade. Vic is a Physician Assistant at Heartland Alliance and spent the morning doing back-to-school health screens for kids at the parade. She did not see much of the parade as she was busy with her colleagues screening over 80 kids, but she did find time to take this great photo.I asked Vic if she had anything to add, and she elaborated:
I like the matching uniforms, shoes, and hairdos. I especially like the variety of expressions on the kids’ faces as they await the start of the parade and it makes me regret not having been there to see them march.
I was cycling to a meet-up location at the Bud Billiken parade and had to stop for this fabulous group. When I asked if I could take a picture of them, some said “sure” and some said “whatever.” They are the Empire dance team and earned huge cheers from the crowd. I love their Beetlejuice/Nightmare Before Xmas/Zombie costumes.Which leads to a final point. As a white person contemplating this photograph, to me it seems to have an unintended racial subtext. When I first saw this photo, I thought, "If I ever had to illustrate an article on the challenge of being a black person navigating white society, I couldn't do better than this." Obviously not the message the dancers are trying to convey. So here's my question: is that an appropriate reaction and, if so, how much does that aspect make this an intriguing photograph? Discuss.
Oh, and please keep those pictures coming. I'll continue posting them on Saturdays as long as I have a snapshot worth sharing.
*Due to a production error, the number of photos submitted was grossly overstated in the opening of today's post. In reality, only about a dozen photographs were sent in by readers. Maybe fewer than that. Say 10. Or eight. Whatever the actual figure, everygoddamnday regrets the error, and regrets the common vanity and hunger to be more significant than one actually is that inspired it.