Still Learning To See

Rainbows in a Black and White World

I grew up in rural Central Michigan in the 1950s. The first person of color I remember seeing was a woman who operated the elevator in the downtown department store. Unless we went downtown, a rare occasion, I only saw people who were the color I am, white. Only many years later did I realize Malcolm X grew up just a few miles away a few years earlier.


Over the last 22 years two of my wonderful sisters-in-law have changed the color of our family in many wonderful and joyous ways. We’ve all learned so much from and about each other, mostly that inside we are simply humans wanting to love and be loved.

These two women continue to inspire me with their love and courage.


Tonight PBS will feature a documentary, “Through a Lens Darkly, 170 Years of African Americans in Photos.” It promises to be very powerful, probing “the recesses of American history through images that have been suppressed, forgotten, and lost,” another lesson in my growing along in this life. It will be available online as well.

I’m thankful to be a part of this big, old rainbow family and world and wanted to share some of the photographs from my rainbow family album.


This entry was published on February 16, 2015 at 11:47 am. It’s filed under John Snell, John Snell Photographer, People, Photograph and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Rainbows in a Black and White World

  1. I am myself enjoing the life in such a “rainbow family” with roots from Cameroon, Eritrea, New Zealand and Germany, and some other places, and members living in several places, including New Zealand, Germany, Cameroon, Eritrea, South Africa, and some other places. Please allow me to put a link here to an article I posted some time ago:

  2. Thank you very much! I enjoyed reading about your family too. We are all under the same big rainbow.

  3. Karen Dailey on said:

    Thanks, John, for your testament to the power of love as it encompass all humans. Kath and Alice and their family exemplify that rainbow of love so well. As you say, “we are simply humans wanting to love and be loved.” May we all grow to recognize that fully.

  4. Thanks John for letting me share these great pictures of your beautiful family on my Facebook page

  5. Deborah Leu on said:

    Awesome shots, family and thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: