“After two long years of research writing looking through old [Scranton] newspapers, I was not content with leaving the stories of Black History in the 75 pages of a gradual thesis that I completed."
- Glynis Johns, 2020 TedXScranton talk, referencing the moment of The Black Scranton Project's conception back in 2018. Fast forward to April 3rd 2023, and I'm sitting with her in the BSP Center for Arts & Culture with my camera, a bottle of Champagne, and some macarons, to celebrate the Center's 2 year anniversary.
Those words from her TedX play back in my mind as I look through these portraits, and I think to myself... this woman is truly electric. It's something I see both in our friendship, and as a historian & public figure. I actually remember seeing her in Zummo's Cafe late 2018 and being like, holy shit this girl looks like she's really deep into whatever she's working on. I have to know what she's about. There's some powerful energy in her.
And that I did.
Not long after bothering her to "watch my stuff while I go to the bathroom", and then seeing her at The Bog (best bar in Scranton... iykyk) the following weekend, I went up to Glynis and said "HEY... can I PLEASE take your portrait sometime!?" I knew I had to photograph her. Some kind of energy ran through her that was no ordinary energy you encounter every day. As a photographer, you feel a gravitational pull, you feel this responsibility to document sources of inspiration. I knew I had to photograph this electricity.
And thus began the intimate look I got to have at the forming & blossoming of The Black Scranton Project, and furthermore, the incredible force in which the Electric Lady is.
Ever since that day, I've seen her pour her heart into illuminating the history of the African American community in Scranton through events, the arts, and connection like no other. The BSPCAC is a place for the community of Scranton to not only come together, but grow together. Its a uniquely special place to learn, create, be accepted & celebrated, be inspired & inspire others. She's hosted epic events such as the Juneteenth Jubilee, open mic, and Black Exhibition & Celebration, and you can just feel the shift in the city when everybody is gathered in this place. It's powerful, and truly something beautiful.
And behind it, is the Electric Lady, one of my best friends, Glynis Johns.
Let me show you the electricity I'm talking about...
Badass Af am i right!?
That's my bestie. And one of the most passionate, powerful women I have the honor of knowing. ⚡️
You can head over to BSP's site to learn more, check out upcoming events, and how to support this incredible org that has had a ripple effect across the northeast, birthed from the heartbeat of Scranton's Electric Lady.