Ferguson in focus: A look back at a community upended
Ever since anger first flared in Ferguson, Missouri over Michael Brown’s death in August, there have been many striking and now-iconic images of confrontations between protesters and police, sophisticated military-style weaponry, and damaged or burned out buildings. The effect has sometimes been to turn this city into a far-off war zone, precluding empathy in response.
But Ferguson, of course, is also a Midwestern suburb that is home to regular people, black and white, who have their own perspectives on what has happened. In recent months, with little warning, residents have seen that home become a national stage on which the dramas of race and justice can play out. Photojournalist Natalie Keyssar traveled there for msnbc over the summer, and returned last month in the wake of news that Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Brown, would not be charged. Many of the most striking pictures she took, shown here, focus on these ordinary Ferguson residents as they try to make sense of what they’ve seen and felt around them.
As the activism spawned by Brown’s death emerges into a nationwide movement for reform of the police and criminal justice systems, Keyssar’s photos are a reminder that when the protests and press conferences are finally over and the media have gone home, life for most in Ferguson will go on – for better or worse.