501 in pics: ‘I do it for the justice’

Story and photos
by Ian Lyle

Through my photographs, I want to portray both ends of this protest. True journalism should show both sides of the story for everyone to see, not just one side. Not many people see the peaceful protests that are taking place, so I wanted to expose that. 

Not many people are seeing the unity between protesters and law enforcement officers. Not many people see the good side of law enforcement right now, so I wanted to share that. 

I would like for my photos to portray a hurting culture, and I want to be a voice for the voiceless. I don’t have much of a say in this battle. I didn’t take these photos to shine my own light. I didn’t do it so my voice can be heard; I did it so African American voices can be louder. They need to be heard. I want to support them and show that through these photos. 

Through journalism, I want to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, be a voice for the voiceless and show the beauty in humanity that doesn’t get shown. The more I can expose injustices to people, the more people can take action against them. The more people take action, the more we can eradicate injustice. I do it for the justice and liberation of people.

Nonetheless, we cannot expect to attain the change we seek if we do not begin to live in it. This is what my city is doing. We are living in the change we desire to attain. 

To create national change, you must start local. Once others follow, it creates a ripple effect unto others and revolutionizes a nation. As one of the protesters said one night, “You don’t eat a whole pie at once, you take it piece by piece.”

Editor’s note: A Conway High School graduate, Ian is a student at the University of Central Arkansas and works on the school newspaper, The Echo. These photos were taken in Conway.