Connect with us

In Da House Media

House Call

Son You Matter

An unfortunate truth is if one watches the news for any period of time, there’s a decent chance that person will hear of a news story of an altercation between a black male and the police.  Whether it’s being shot down in plain site or witnessing “an innocent aggressor” evade consequences for making decisions based off of suspicion, these news stories, though informative, are also often devastating to a young black boy’s morale. “Is that all I am? Target practice? A life unworthy of justice if it’s taken?” are questions that many young black boys are often faced with on a daily basis. Best-selling author, Derrick Jakolby Washington, is choosing to use May’s Mental Health Awareness Month as an opportunity to affirm black boys in his book: Son You Matter.

Son You Matter was written during the period of the George Floyd protests in order to counter the media’s new stories of death among black youth with a story that both challenges and affirms black men, both young and old.  Some may say, “Oh that isn’t happening anymore,” but the stories of Ryan Gainer, 15 (Source: The Guardian – shot by police), Senior Airman Roger Fortson, 23 (Source: NBC News – killed in apartment by police), Frank Tyson, 53 (Source: AP News – knee was placed on the back of the neck until he died while arrested), Samuel Sterling, 25(Source: Fox 17 – 25yr old killed by police officer and deemed “an accident”), Kadarius Smith, 17 (Source: People Magazine – Police department “accidentally” ran over his body), and countless others show differently.

So Washington is spending this Mental Health Awareness month to focus on the revitalization, and the recharge of black men through his book, Son You Matter.

Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in House Call

To Top