Sometimes events happen that compel us to take action. That’s what happened to me as the Ferguson story unfolded (in case you’re unfamiliar with what’s happened there, click here for a timeline of events). I’m not judging who’s right or wrong. Social media and the major news outlets have done that job. I just think that something has been missing.
At this point — with no disrespect meant — it’s beyond the death of Michael Brown. Right now, it’s about a community in turmoil. A place continuously subject to judgment and ridicule by an outside world that has not walked a step in its shoes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m also ignorant of what makes Ferguson tick. There is nothing about me that makes me especially equipped to shed fresh light on this story. Sure, I’ve won a few awards (See here and here). All I have is an idea, and a nagging instinct, that something is missing. And I want to find it.
So on a Wednesday night, after speaking with a close friend and colleague about my nagging desire to add my two cents to the fray, I bought a round trip ticket to St. Louis, arriving on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. (I wanted it to be a one-way, since it would make for a much better story, revealing a carefree gusto that wins instant respect. I guess the return ticket adds a sense of finality, or security, to my trip, that otherwise would be absent)
I don’t have an agenda here. I simply want to tell Ferguson’s stories from the eyes of its people. That includes the police, clergy, business people, blue collar workers, stay at home moms and dads, homeless people, activists — anyone who calls Ferguson home. Hopefully I can do this fairly and factually and without sensationalizing or editorializing. I want you to make up your own minds about what’s happening and what, if anything, should be done about it.
I plan on posting at least one story to FergusonFiles.com per day, with images. I tweet @SavingEJ, so feel free to check out those as well. If you need help covering something, or if you have any news tips, please contact me at FergusonFiles2014[at]gmail.com . If you’re a reporter or photographer and you’d like to contribute, shoot me an email.
Here’s to a better present.
– David DesRoches