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THE SELFIE—Mentor Kenneth Neely taking a selfie with Dorian Epps, Sovren Gray, Foster Owens, George B. Robinson, Elijah Steave and Richard W. Taylor Jr.

In Pittsburgh’s predominately-Black neighborhoods such as Homewood, there are men who go above and beyond to take care of their families, watch over their neighbors, run community programs, teach, preach, and more.

The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation (PBMF) wants to highlight those African American men with a feature entitled, “American Heroes: The Homewood Project.” It is a photo series that will be created by aspiring and professional photographers for social media exhibitions and presentations, set to launch in July. A community exhibit in Homewood featuring the photo series will be unveiled in Homewood later this summer.

“The public will play a significant role in shaping this project, which we want to use to help change the media narrative about men of color. Too often that narrative is one that stereotypes or marginalizes them,” said Tory N. Parrish, president of PBMF.

With this project, she added, “We also hope to create mentorships among the participating photographers who are students, freelancers and media professionals.”

The “American Heroes” project is part of PBMF’s Black Male Media Project, #InspireBlackMen, which began June 10 with a networking and mentorship forum for aspiring and professional photographers at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA.

One of the forum participants was freelance photographer Kenneth Neely, 46, a teaching artist at an afterschool program at the Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center in Larimer. Many of the youngsters in the program come from neighborhoods such as Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington and Homewood.

“Too often, the everyday heroes working and living among those who they help the most, are overlooked,” Neely said.

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