Black male photo shoot looking for everyday men

Black male photo shoot looking for everyday men


“Our young men in Madison need to know that black men do everything here – there are many avenues for you to pursue in life,” said One City Early Learning Centers CEO Kaleem Caire. “Our kids need to see that.”

With that in mind, Madison’s Premiere Black Male Photo Shoot will take place at the Wisconsin State Capitol Oct. 2 from 2-4 p.m. The photo shoot is titled, “Real Men of Madison: We Do Everything” and is hosted by One City Early Learning Centers in partnership with Justice Productions. The organizers are specifically looking for men who work in a variety of industries and have a variety of interests to participate in this shoot.

“I don’t think anything like this has ever been done in Madison. It should be fun,” Caire told Madison365. “We got to have non-traditional ways to get our community involved in things like this. We aimed to serve two purposes with this Black Male Photo Shoot.”

Number one, Caire said, is that the achievement gap starts early and One City wants to feature black men who support preschool education as a means to ensure that all children are successfully prepared for school and life. Secondly, Caire said, there is a need to promote positive images of black men that can be shared with young people and the public through a variety of formats. To support its preschool and its scholarship program, One City will create posters, calendars and a video of the photo shoot to sell during the 2016 winter holidays.

“It’s a fun, non-traditional way to connect us but at the same time it is about creating an image – which, for us, is the real image of black men,” Caire said. “Real men of Madison doing real things. We do a variety of things – we work in a community center, we sweep the streets, we work in offices in downtown Madison.

“We told the men to come dressed in whatever industry they are in or whatever is most comfortable for them. We want to show them in their element,” Caire said. “All of us matter and we are all doing extraordinary things. That’s the message we are trying to send.”

One City wants to see men from all walks of life show up. “We want men who are doing something positive for their kids, their family or their community,” Caire said. “We have guys who were formerly incarcerated or have been through bad patches in their lives and if they are living a positive life and doing positive things, we want them there, too. We want young men. We would love to have some college-aged brothers. The goal is to show Madison who we really are … the diversity of who we are. Our kids will see that.

“We want to get as many people out there as we can,” Caire said. “We are hoping this will be a big event. At the Capitol, this will be our own version of the teacher movement [rally at the Capitol that happened after Act 10 was passed].

Photos at the shoot will be taken by the talented Marcus Miles of Marcus Miles Photography. “I’m incredibly excited about being part of this event. When Kaleem [Caire] and I first talked about this, I thought how important it was because there are a   ton   of brothers who day-in, day-out got to work and do what they are supposed to do and take care of their families – single fathers as well as married dads – and they don’t get a lot of credit,” Miles said. “As a single dad, I’ve seen that there are a lot of other fathers who quietly go about their jobs from so many different fields … jobs that we don’t directly see but are extremely important.

“This is a great opportunity to show those positive images not just for the community but for younger kids,” he said. “As Martin Luther King said, ‘All good work is honorable.'”

Way too often, major media outlets love to cover the deadbeat dad or the abusive dad or the criminal dad because it brings clicks to their website. Especially, if he’s black.

“Yeah, I see that, too. We need to change that narrative. There’s a whole cadre of fathers who are amazing that don’t get recognition for doing what they do,” Miles said. “This is an extremely positive event and it will shine a lot of light on an area that has not been highlighted very well in the past.”

The organizers of the event are hoping that word of mouth will turn out all kinds of Madison-area black men for the Oct, 2 photo shoot.

“I’m glad that Kaleem made it clear that you don’t have to have a lot of money or have a big title in front of your name to participate,” Miles said. “This is about real brothers who are doing what they are supposed to do day in and day out every day whether people are looking or not. I totally respect that and I’m totally on board with that.”

Madison’s Premiere Black Male Photo Shoot will take place at Wisconsin’s State Capitol on Sunday, October 2, 2-4 p.m. If you have any questions or want to be a part of it, please contact Sekani Caire at (608)381-6950 or