In 2022, the Times launched the photo portrait project Behold powered by Target with the goal to give Black L.A. the Juneteenth commemoration it deserved.
We photographed nearly 100 Black Angelenos, young and old, to capture the full breadth of the community. We explored how decades of inauthentic media coverage has affected various residents. And we dived deep into the lives of activists and entrepreneurs working to replenish the food desert known as South Los Angeles, making it easy and affordable to find healthy food without having to languish in traffic to another neighborhood.
When we unveiled the final product, you might have noticed your pastor, barber, favorite DJ or business owner sharing the images online. Maybe you drove by the Beverly Center one afternoon and saw five of the photos given the larger-than-life treatment on its windows. Maybe you saw a copy of the newspaper, with one of the portraits proudly displayed on the cover of the Calendar section. Hopefully, you popped into our Juneteenth event by the Crenshaw mall, getting a sneak preview of the package before it was released to the public.
The response to the award-winning project from our photo subjects and other members of L.A.’s Black Community has been overwhelming.
“The Los Angeles Times has never done anything like this for Black people during my three decades of activism. Thank you! Great piece,” said Najee Ali, activist and community organizer.
Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles County supervisor, echoed that: “I appreciate the authenticity and love for Black LA that is felt throughout this series.”
This year, we want to make it even bigger.
We’re bringing back Behold in 2023 to redouble our mission. We’re coming with more portraits and engaging videos that jump off the screen with Black joy. And of course, you can expect deeply reported stories that celebrate the beauty of Black L.A., focusing on the present while connecting to the city’s history.
But we’re also inviting you to play a bigger role in the process. This year, we want Behold to serve as a platform for aspiring writers, and open the door for you to write about the community from within for the pages of the Los Angeles Times.
Know a neighbor who deserves a feature? Want to report on a vibrant scene you can’t get enough of, or explore your family history and connect it to Los Angeles? Or, are you looking to be photographed for one of our upcoming editions? Fill out the form below or reach out to us using the form submission below and we’ll be in touch.
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