Today’s photo of the day is from Christopher Capozziello’s 2003 student winner project, “For God, Race and Country” documenting the Ku Klux Klan on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
This image is haunting. It stays in one’s mind. It raises and answers questions simultaneously. One sees the child and thinks, “what will happen to her – will this hate become a part of her also?” At the same time, one sees the image, and understands how the hate of the organization is passed down. It is a part of life for her and her family. The hate has been taught and is likely to be practiced when she grows up.
For many photographers, it is difficult to know if even a single image has made a difference. Capozziello, however, is able to know that he helped change at least one man’s opinion of the KKK’s philosophy of hatred by listening and asking questions.
In the question and answer section of his project page, Capozziello recounts the experience of asking one of his subjects whether an African American who was a strong believer in Jesus and went to church every weekend would be permitted everlasting life. The subject said that based on scripture, that man would achieve eternal life. Months later, the subject called Capozziello to tell him that he had changed his mind, that he thought the Klan had it all wrong.