Youth’s photographs tell story of region

Published 10:38 pm Monday, June 14, 2010

A picture is worth 1,000 words, but for eight Dallas County students pictures can mean a lot more.

Heather Wilkerson, Caitlin Erin Moore, Jacob Milhouse, Franchestia Flennory, Kelsi Smith, Kwaneshia Wright, and Queneshia A. Beal participated in the Black Belt 100 Lenses Summer Camp on the Campus of The University of Alabama in cooperation with the Black Belt Community Foundation.

“The whole thought behind it is depicting the culture of the Black Belt through the eyes of its youth,” said Felecia Jones, the executive director of the Black Belt Community Foundation.

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The children were given point and shoot cameras to take pictures of what they felt is the culture of the Black Belt.

“It gives us a chance to highlight our region,” said Jones. “The great thing about youth is they are not pretentious at all. They aren’t trying to sugar coat anything at all, they are just going to lay it out like it is. That is because they are young and honest.”

During the six days of the camp, the children learned more about the history of the Black Belt, to take more pictures, and talk about their photography and their plans to improve their communities.

Bradley Mills was a participant with the 100 Lenses program in Sumter County before becoming a volunteer with the Black Belt Community Foundation.

“I always into taking pictures,” said Mills. “The program gave me a chance to take pictures and recognize what was in my county. I was able to recognize what is important in Sumter County that I may not have seen before.”

Jones said she thinks this generation cares. “They are able to seen things as beautiful where they may not have before.”