Jon Henry, the artist of the Stranger Fruit photography series, started out in 2014, and over time it has become much more than a protest against the police brutality against the black communities. He depicts real people in his photographs and looks directly at the viewer for the message to sink in.
Unlawful deaths of African Americans due to police brutality have been addressed several times in the history of the United States. Whether or not justice was given to those who suffered, they have to live with the loss and there is still a chance for the events to reoccur.
#1 Untitled #44, Crenshaw Blvd, Ca
#2 Stranger Fruit By Jon Henry
#3 Untitled #35, North Minneapolis, Mn
#4 Untitled #42, Central Los Angeles, Ca
#5 Untitled #5 Parkchester, NY
#6 Untitled #33, Jersey City, Nj
“I set out to photograph mothers with their sons in their environment, reenacting what it must feel like to endure this pain”, he stated. He also said that although the photographed mothers have not lost their sons, they understand the real situation. They understand the fact that this might be the fate of their own families. He also captured the isolated mothers that are reflecting on the absence. “When the trials are over, the protesters have gone home and the news cameras are gone, it is the mother left. Left to mourn, to survive,” he spoke the bitter truth.
#7 “Untitled 48, Inglewood, Ca”
#8 Untitled #19 Magnificent Mile, Il
#9 Untitled #25 Montgomery, Al
#10 Untitled #55 Little Rock, Ar
#11 Untitled #17 South Side Chicago, Il
#12 Jon Henry, “Untitled 39, Santa Monica, Ca”
He chose locations where he could find subjects and the setting was chosen to best describe the city and/or state from a geographical or architectural point of view.
Jon also revealed that he lets the families chose what they want to wear. The reason for this is that being comfortable in one’s clothes helps to get a natural feel. He went on to state that the families shown in his photographs are not just actors, but families that take these issues very seriously.
#13 Untitled 53, North Little Rock, Ar
#14 Untitled 56, Houston Tx
#15 “Untitled 45, Oakland, Ca”
#16 Untitled #13 Groveland Park, Il
#17 Untitled 51, New Orleans, LA
#18 Untitled #3 Harlem, NY
Henry asked the mothers to look expressionless so that the message will appeal straight and more gravely to the viewer; for the emptiness and the feeling of loss to penetrate even the coldest of hearts. The viewers have the chance to interpret the message in their own way and make the decision on their own.