Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved
The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved<br>The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

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"Whenever I use BLACK it relates to some history of Africans in that particular place. It’s the idea of the color BLACK as a metaphor, or as a representation of African-Americans. It’s the notion of BLACK- BLACKNESS - and all its other meanings in relation to the history of race..."

- Fred Wilson

"Most of my fortitude to continue doing the work comes from the moral outrage I feel about the injustices that Black people endure disproportionately daily."

- N. Abdul-Wakil

"In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-African consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us (African folks). We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first..."

- Dredlocks Tree

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)
Click The Pic To Access The Film Library Database! (166 Films)
LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Monday, September 26, 2011

ROD's 2nd Summer Trip To Michigan (2011)
From Pittsburgh To Ann Arbor While Discovering The Arboretum, Train Tracks & The August Wilson Center

I LOVE Michigan so much that I have gone by for a 2nd summer trip during Labor Day weekend (and my overall 4th time in 12 months).

I took Megabus for much of my trip ad I highly recommend them. They offer prices as low as $1.00 per ticket (really -- $1 dollar!!!) depending on where you're going and how far in advance you book your itinerary. And there's a ridiculously low 50-cent booking fee!

So, I started my trip by taking Megabus from New York City to Pittsburgh and then met up with my partner who picked me in in Pittsburgh. Never been to Pittsburgh before, but it was nice to be there, if only for a hot minute, because though I am a die-hard Washington Redskins fan, I do have a lot of respect for the Pittsburgh Steelers (aka blitzburgh!!!) and how they have maintained being a tough team and building their team through the draft and free agency.

The following 2 pictures of the yellow bridge were taken (through the window) while I was on Megabus in Pittsburgh. There were several yellow bridges and have no idea what they're official names are. I thought it was a qool bridge...

All Photography

All the rest of the following pics were taken while I was staying in Ann Arbor, Michigan..

I'm Not a Church Guy,
But I Liked the Evening Look Of This Church

I Like To Capture Pics Of My Name Whenever Possible.
It's Not As Popular As Say "Rob" or "Ron"

I Was Playing Pool At The Aut Bar (Restaurant)
In Kerrytown
Which Is A Little Town In Ann Arbor.
Kerrytown Is Homosexual Friendly.

One of the best hi-lites of my latest visit to Michigan was going with my partner to the AWESOME Nichols Gateway Garden Arboretum. I had a great time and it was so qool shooting photography with him. I'm usually solo on my adventures, and so this was a nice opportunity to be able to share something we both LOVE and in common. It was his idea...

The Arboretum Exists In Conjunction With
University of Michigan

This Was The Entrance We Came Through.

My Partner Getting His Own Shots In

The Arboretum Appealed To A Wide Range Of People
From Photographers, People In Canoes (Canoers, I Say LOL!),
Joggers, "Acting" Students From The University of Michigan
And The Simple People Just Strolling Along

And Enjoying The View

I LOVE This Shot.
The Wooden Zig-Zag Guard Rail On The Right
And The Rich Dark Dirt With the Amazing
Leaves On The Ground

There Were Some Interesting (Native American???)
Tribal Or Ritualistic
Wood Pieces
Near A Lot OF The Trees We Encountered
Later On, We Saw Some Student In Old European
Dress-wear Shooting A Scene Near These Wood Pieces.
They May Have Been Staged Pieces If Not
Authentic Tribal Pieces As Part OF Their
Photography or Video Shoot.

An Asian Family Canoeing Along The Huron River
Near The Arboretum
I Wish I WA Doing That. I Did It Twice On 2 Different
ADODI Retreats. It's One Of The Best Experiences
Of My Life. Imagine Gliding On The Surface
Of A Lake, Or River Or The Ocean! It's INCREDIBLE!!!

The Huron River Which IS a Part of The Arboretum

I Used My Trustee Circular Polarizer On my Lens
To Cut The Glare From The Water
And See The Pebble Stones Beneath
This Part OF The Shallow Huron River

Another Interpretation In B&W
With The Ridges of Little Waves

I Didn't See This Until I GOT Home To Edit This Image,
But It Looks Like an Entity With
It's Hands
Stretching Up In The Air And
To The Sky

Next to the Arboretum we discovered these train tracks (which I LOVE to photograph).
We didn't know whether they were abandoned or not, but we took care to safely look in both directions and keep our ears open for possible trains chugging or speeding along suddenly...!!!

The Arboretum Is To The Left And Beyond The Huron River

One Of My Best Pieces Of Work
And In The Sepia Tone Family

My Partner Getting Some Shots On The Tracks!

Ahhhh!!! The Irony...

I Wasn't Going To Photograph This Shot
Because It Didn't Look Interesting;

But I Took The Shot Anyway.
I Got Home And LOVED It!

Sometimes Shots Don't Look Great On Little Camera Monitors,
But Come Alive On Big Monitors At Home Sometimes

Love This Pedestrian Bridge

Another Forced Perspective Shot Of The Bridge

I Used My Polarizer Again To Cut Through The Glare
To Get A Nice Golden Look From The Huron River
Overlooking That Pedestrian Bridge.
Interesting How Shallow The River Was Again.

This Was A Spider Web Attached To The Bridge Structure.
I Used Manual Focus For This Shot Because The
Auto-Focus Had Major Problems Getting A Lock Because
The Spider Web Was Translucent
And The Light From Behind Was Too Bright

NICE! This Was So Beautiful When I Saw It!
Very Fairytale Like

I LOVE The Finer Things In Nature's Life Like This


After I Left Ann arbor to get back to New York I had a 2+ hour layover at Pittsburgh.

Before my partner picked me up from Pittsburgh the first time, I got to look around the immediate area and saw the August Wilson Center For African American Culture. I noted at the back of my mind that if I ever came back to Pittsburgh that I would definitely visit this place as I'm always looking to learn about the African experience and my culture.

After leaving Ann Arbor and returning to Pittsburgh to catch my second bus, I had a 2+ hour layover so I decided to take the opportunity and check out the August Wilson Center For African American Culture.

Picture taking wasn't allowed inside, but I took pics of the museum's outside. There is a very nice Romare Bearden: The Last Years, Photography by Frank Stewart (September 20th - 31st, 2011) exhibit. Some of the photography is phenomenal!

The museum's architecture was designed from the ground up by African-American sistah Allison Williams. READ MORE HERE and HERE. She incorporated a lot of historical (aluminum and glass) elements to bring the building's design together. As a CADD (Computer-Aided Drafting and Design) professional I can appreciate her work so much more...

The Front Facades Of The Museum

Official Website: AugustWilsonCenter.org

August Wilson Center For African American Culture
980 Liberty Avenue
(between Garrsion Place and William Penn Place,
2 Blocks From The David L. Lawrence Convention Center)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-3736

Ph:412.258.2700 | E-mail: info[at]AugustWilsonCenter.org

This Was A Tough Shot As It Was Raining
And I'm Trying to Keep My Camera And Lens Dry!