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Grantee: Black Lens News

Project Title: To Be Black in Spokane
Year awarded: 2020, Round 2

SAGA is proud to aid the Black Lens in breathing new life into the pages of this print publication with a first of its kind work for the Spokane community.

The Black Lens has been publishing in the Spokane community for the past five and a half years, focusing on the people, issues, news and events of importance to the Black community. The purpose of the paper each month has been to offer an alternate perspective – one different from what is portrayed in the mainstream media – both for the Black community itself and for the Spokane community as a whole.

The Black Lens‘ new project, ‘To Be Black in Spokane,’ will be an interactive fusion of photos and video that will be used to tell the stories of African Americans living in Spokane and the impact that being Black in Spokane has had on their lives.

Black Lens News plans to create a special insert for the February 2021, Black History Month issue of the newspaper. The 24-page, full-color insert will be filled with the photographs of 20 African Americans, ranging from young adults to seniors, currently living in Spokane. The photos, taken by professional photographer Robert Lloyd, will uniquely capture each participant and create a rich artistic display all on their own. Each photograph will be embedded with an augmented reality app. When the reader downloads the app onto their cell phone and holds their phone up to the photograph, a short video story hidden within each still image will be revealed.

The video stories, told through the voices and images of the 20 Black participants, will describe in their own words the experience of being Black in Spokane. Readers will thus have the opportunity to appreciate through these multiple storytelling modes the realities faced by Black Spokane residents in 2020.