Vegas Seven

Project Mom

  • Project Mom

    This project began when a friend of mine told me about his days in the army. His mother had told him that every time her phone rang, she would panic, fearing the worst for her son. When I thought about my friend’s mother, I pictured her sitting in a worn-out armchair, the room just lit by one lamp and the phone to her right. As if it were her nemesis. It felt as if I had already taken the picture.

  • Project Mom

    Jeanette Jacobs

    Jeanette was born in South Africa; her mother was British and her father was South African. She decided to leave the country in 1961, when her maid, Beauty, from the Bantu tribe, was dragged from her home. Jeanette was tired of a nation poisoned by apartheid.

  • Project Mom

    Jackie Brantley

    When I entered Jackie’s house to take her picture, she asked me if I was good on time for the night. She wanted to bake a few sweet potato pies for the picture and make me feel welcome in her home. She gave me a tour of the quaint house, which she purchased for her and her son by working 11-hour days and baking hundreds of pies to make ends meet.

  • Project Mom

    Sonia Lising-Cahalan

    When I first met Sonia, I was in awe of how many pictures she had of her with her son, Robbie. It made me think two things, one—to jump on a plane and go take more pictures with my mom, and two—how close they must have been. There were so many. I only got to meet Robbie and spend time with him once, but I’ll never forget it. I was at my girlfriend’s house, meeting many of her relatives for the first time; I was nervous, even afraid to go in, but Robbie—her old family friend—immediately made me feel at home.

  • Project Mom

    Janet Sliger

    Janet was four months pregnant when she went in for an ultrasound and learned that her baby had a cyst on the back of her neck.

  • Project Mom

    Michelle Franco

    Four years ago, Michelle gave birth to a daughter, Vivaldi. The months that followed, though, turned dark when Michelle’s relationship with her boyfriend became abusive—and she knew the relationship had to end.

  • Project Mom

    Sandra Blackburn

    Sandra always wanted to be a mother, but she never expected it to be such a challenging endeavor. Born in Orange County, Calif., in 1956, she escaped from an abusive alcoholic father at 16 and was raised by her mother, who turned out to be an exemplary role model.

  • Project Mom

    JoAnn Armstead

    JoAnn had her first daughter in 1953, when she was 19. The father wasn’t around much, so she found herself struggling for a support system to help raise her daughter. JoAnn had been orphaned at birth. Most young parents can call their parents and ask for advice; JoAnn never had that luxury. So she went to the library and turned to the books of Dr. Benjamin Spock. In the 1950s, it was difficult for African–Americans to get a job in corporate America, so JoAnn knew she had to continue her education in order to give herself and her daughter a fighting chance.

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