Giving thanks that perception can change

Across the street from my apartment, a guy was taking a break from his job two days ago. A woman came along, got in an argument with him, and stabbed him to death. Because I live in San Francisco, there will and has been media coverage of this, but it will soon be forgotten as the balance of coverage favors shots of the Golden Gate Bridge as opposed to the evils that lurk in the city although you can easily find them without really having to look all that hard.
As this event passes and this poor fellow is laid to rest, you won’t see a continuous stream of photos showing the bad shades (prostitution, drug addicts, homeless) of a delightful town. It’s the complete inverse with a shot like this one from Liberia. I have seen photos of children like this thousands of times before and they are something that I do not give thanks for today. That shot is not a good photo, but it is a shocking photo, if you haven’t seen it before. All it does is to further the perception that most people in North America and Europe have of Africa.
Today is Thanksgiving in the US and as I grew up there, it’s customary to state all that you are thankful for today. At this moment, in the context of this article, I am thankful for connectivity. I know it sounds like a strange thing to say, but it’s a fact that while it allows for images and articles on Africa that continually portray it in a bad light to circulate, there is also the opportunity to see another side. We can turn the camera around 180 degrees and see what there is beyond the scope of what has been captured; the innovation, culture, history, food, music, and life that thrives in Africa. But most importantly, Africans can actually talk about Africa.
I am thankful for all who chose to take this path and show this when all of you know how much less resistance there is on the path that has you taking photos of children in the street to accomplish lord knows what at this point. Let us hope these efforts that move slowly now gain momentum with time. And in time, perhaps we will all be able to thankful that perceptions will have changed.