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I will do all that I can to make the pictures of America improve: 

February 2, 1995 

Dear Jacob, 

It is one in the morning. I have just left from seeing your presentation of "American Pictures" and I feel compelled to write you. I am a white middle class woman. Everyday I force myself to recognize that the seeds of racism and prejudice have been planted within me and that I must challenge and uproot these seeds. I must question the lies that my history and society has taught and as John Singleton says I must "unlearn" these false truths. Thank you for helping me on my way in your journey of unlearning. As I watched your pictures flash by slide by slide I felt tears well down my face, anger in blood, pain in my soul, then hope in my heart and motivation in my mind. I wish I could be taking the journey you took through America, I wonder as a woman if I could have survived. I encourage you to continue showing your pictures to everyone, everywhere (especially William Clinton!) I will do all that I can to make the pictures of America improve and maybe someday our paths will cross again. I could never thank you enough for showing your pictures, nor could I find enough words to truly express my gratitude. I will keep those pictures of my fellow Americans in my mind every day and dedicate my life to them, so someday they will have the same opportunities that I have. I will vote, I will work for change and I will always remember your beautiful message of love and understanding of all people. 

Take care my friend, let the sun's warmth heal you, and always know that you truly have made a difference in not only my life, but I am sure the lives of many. I will fight, not with my fist, but with my heart. I will try to make the politicians open their eyes. Once their bodies are gone I will use my strength to carry on their dream. Thank you. 

I wish I could give you something besides the words of my mind, although I know not what to include, so in turn I give you my love to carry with you every day. All I can truly give all people of all races, all sexes, all ethnicities and all classes is my love and hopeful some day we will obtain, what most think is unattainable - love and harmony for all colors of the rainbow. I also realize that first people must be housed and fed and clothed, so they can truly have a chance to live. 

 Love Shelly 


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