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Below are visual and audio portraits of Black men living in Milwaukee, whose lives have changed physically and mentally as a result of violence. In this series, we learn about the moment their lives changed, and how they are moving forward.

CLICK HERE to view Part 1

Otis Young

portrait of otis young seated in a wheelchair

Portrait of Otis Young by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transcription: "Do they see a disability or do they see a human being, you know. Do they see trials and tribulations? Do they see perseverance? Do they see motivation? Just all those aspects of me. I just want people to see me for me and nothing else, you know. [To his son:] Any other last thoughts dude? What else you want me to talk about? 'Never give up. That's what Jesus says.' [laughs] Never give up! That's what Kyron Young says, my son, never give up. Cause it's so easy to leave this world, but staying in it, making it better, is the best challenge of all."

Grover Williams, ii

full color portrait of grover williams ii

Full color portrait of Grover Williams, ii by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transcription: "Um, going out to me means staying home, catching a movie, making a nice dish. You know, I went to culinary school before I got injured. So, you know, coming up with different dishes, thinking about the stuff my moms made when I was younger, making some of that kind of things. When I do bake, me and the grandkids, we go get the dough. And make it from scratch, and put them in the oven and let them, close the door and that's that. Turns out OK, well, at least I think it does. They ain't got no complaints yet. They ain't said 'Poppaw this sucks.' [laughs]" 

Michael Taylor

full color portrait of Michael Taylor

Full color portrait of Michael Taylor by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transcription: "He was like, 'Put your arm right here. Kinda turn your head this way.' I’m like oh! That’s not, that ain’t got no swag to it. That ain’t got no—aw man, against the wall, one foot up, yeah, arms crossed, and like feet apart, like with some style to it. But I’m ok with that cause I’m confident. I already look good. I look nice so when they see or look at my picture, I mean, it's what they see I can't, I can't, I don't know what's in their mind or what they see and what they're thinking, but hey, that's Michael."

Ace Jenkins

full color portrait of Ace Jenkins

Full color portrait of Ace Jenkins by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transcription: "I got a 1970 Riviera GS and I'm working on that. I fully restored that car. And then I got a 1970 Buick, it's called like a deuce and a quarter Buick. I'm working on that. Then I got a 1992 Chevy K5 Blazer. I got a lot of cars, like I collect really basically. And I'm just like trying to get my kids into them more than me. So they know the appreciation of it, so when I go pass over, my kids got the cars and you know, they would know I worked on it with them. It was a project and you know, I put my sweat, blood, and tears into, you know, to getting it together for them."

Leviticus Lipsey

full color portrait of Leviticus Lipsey

Full color portrait of Leviticus Lipsey by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transcription: "Like, like, I couldn't like, I woke up like what, I wanna say I woke up like six months later, and then I started noticing that I'm in the hospital because I'm, I know I'm in the hospital but I can’t talk. I can't. I can't move nothing. But listen, my grandma, her name is Arnez Lipsey, she moved into the hospital. She had a big coat with a 4 pack of beer [laughs] it's crazy. She moving in the hospital with me and she not leaving my side til I left the hospital. And she taught me how to talk. She tell me, 'I love you. I love you.' She went and got the doctor, my momma on the phone. I said, “I love you” and then all the doctors like “oh my god!” Like freaking out like. That was a blessing too."

Nicholas Johnson

full color portrait of nicholas johnson

Full color portrait of Nicholas Johnson by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transcription: "I always was into anything that was artsy. I could take a cardboard box and build a house or a car with it. Unfortunately, I didn't go to college for architecture cause that's what I wanted to do, but I just tried to make the best of what I had. I just went online one day and I looked up how to start a clothing line. I had all my sketches drawn out. I taught myself everything really. I opened up the store. The store’s online, the name is called Micaveli. My nickname is Mickey. I didn't like how people always looked at me as you know, that's the same little Mickey. I want you to respect me for who I am now. Don't look at me and you know, judge me based on the person that I was when I was a kid."

Harvey Ross

full color portrait of harvey ross

Full color portrait of Harvey Ross by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transciption: "Now that I'm put in a box of that, I have a disability, that's how a lot of people see me. But I don't look at myself that way. I'm still the same person. If you see anything, just see another human being and address me by my name or whatever it is, but no, see another human being and treat me as like again, treat me as you want to be treated yourself."

Mike Wolfe

full color portrait of Mike Wolfe

Full color portrait of Mike Wolfe by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Audio Transcription: "If I look back, I'm actually thankful for where I'm at now through a tragic event which was being shot in the back on my way home from work. It's OK to not feel good. It's OK to have problems or issues, but I prefer to empower people to know you don't have to stay that way. You always have a choice. They always told me 'I knew if anybody would be able to get through this situation, it would be you.' So, small kind words like that actually just let me know, 'Mike is still Mike, you just can't walk' and all of the things that I did in my life weren't actually necessarily revolving around walking. It was about the other strengths that I had, which again, came from my mouth because it runs a lot and it runs fast. But I think [laughs] one of the things too is that once I had a son, I actually knew what my actual goal was going to be in life, which was just basically to make it better for the people that come behind me."

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