“This is my only connection to that place,” confides journalist Grace Ali, founder of the “Of Note” (http://www.ofnotemagazine.org) online magazine, as she holds images from her family photo album which was first created in her homeland of Guyana. “I’ve become the one who took the role of keeping them safe”
During her conversation with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris at the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) Roadshow held at Harlem Stage, Ms. Ali shares, “The life for an immigrant woman is not an easy one.” Cradling an image of her mother as a young woman, Ms. Ali continues, ”I’m really fascinated by her, a hard working woman, committed to her family. She’s the one that has kept us together”. Ms. Ali takes particular pride in the image of her mother at the age of eight, standing next to her grandmother. “I look at it and I see that my mother and I grow parallel to each other”.
Among the many family stories that these photos bare witness to, a constant theme is present, Grace Ali reflects on, “Seeing people go off to the airport and not see them come back”. In fact, some of the photographs that Ms. Ali shared with Thomas Allen Harris take place at the airport, where families congregate, perhaps for the last time, to see their relatives follow their dreams to a new land.