Photography and Music #UInspire

This week The Love Channel with Ty Swint is super excited to offer an interview with one of my hometown friends, Shelley King Jr. from Chattanooga. I worked with Shelley’s beautiful mom many moons ago and we became fast and good friends. It was such a pleasure to meet her son Shelley a few years back on Facebook. I enjoy Shelley’s humor and photography. And then once I saw that he was committed to giving back to his community, I was truly inspired. It is not always an easy thing to do, especially when dealing with the touchy subject of race. Through Shelley’s organization, the Chattanooga Historical Justice Coalition {CHJC}, he and its members are striving to right historical wrongs and striving to uplift their communities. Take a moment to read The Love Channel with Ty Swint's interview with Shelley below. I think you too will be inspired by his beautiful photography and work with CHJC.
Name:Shelley (SoleMann) King Jr. 
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
{TLC}: Can you recall what initially inspired your love of photography?
Shelley: I would have to say that as a child around 6 years of age, I was always fascinated with the family pictures, was forever going through the photo albums.
{TLC}: How long have you been a photographer?
Shelley: Hmmmmmm, interesting question. The first time I had my own camera was back in 1998 and it was a Disaster!!! I tried to photograph the old abandoned Pine Breeze Sanitarium property. The pictures came out BLACK!!! (LOL) It was more of a hobby back then, but I have now been serious about it in the last 3 to 4 years.

{TLC}: Do you have a favorite subject(s) that you like to photograph?
Shelley: I can’t say that I have any one favorite subject that I like to photograph, I just have my moments where I choose a variety of things to focus my lens on.
{Shelley photographs Chattanooga artist Seven}

{TLC}: Is there anything you find challenging about being a photographer?
Shelley: Right now my biggest challenge is just learning how to work my camera the right way, here is a example; I shoot everything in automatic mode, several of my photographer friends have told me that I need to shoot in manual mode, in other words, learn everything there is about my camera and how to operate it.

{TLC}: Is there a favorite quote or saying that inspires you during your challenges as a photographer or that inspires you in general?
Shelley: I use a scripture from the bible, Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

{TLC}: What do you love most about your work as a photographer?
Shelley: I love making people happy with their pictures, capturing awesome moments in their lives that they can look back on years from now, I also love capturing historical things and editing the pictures.
{TLC}: You have started a group in Chattanooga called the Chattanooga Historical Justice Coalition. Can you share more about it, its mission and the group’s goals?
Shelley: This came about when I hooked up with Chris Winston (My Vice-President), we both are fascinated with the case of Ed Johnson, who was taken from jail, hung from the walnut street bridge by a lynch mob then shot to death for allegedly raping a white woman back in 1906. We got together and went to the Pleasant Gardens Cemetery and cleaned the grave site of Mr. Edward Johnson, a couple of days later we added Mamie Owens, shortly after that, I came up with the name. Right now we are trying to get the walnut street bridge renamed to The Alfred Blount-Ed Johnson Memorial Bridge (Alfred Blount was another guy hung from the bridge) we currently have a petition drive going. Our mission, righting historical wrongs, uplifting our communities.
{TLC}: What inspired you to start this group? 
Shelley: Just coming together with like minded people. Change is not going to happen overnight and it could take years in some cases, but if we all keep the focus, bring in young dedicated people who can take it to the next generation, these changes can happen, but the key is, you have to start somewhere.
{TLC}: Have you personally or has the group experienced any challenges?
Shelley: I would say that our biggest challenge to date is probably getting members and staying focus. With that being said, we all have other jobs and/or outside interest, but we do talk about things, plan meet and greets, we are working on a fundraiser soon, so despite lack of focus sometimes, we are not going to let CHJC die.

{TLC}: Who or what has inspired you to push pass those challenges?
Shelley: Just knowing what we are doing is right, positive and uplifting, is enough to push pass the challenges. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so these things take time.
{Shelley and Members of the Chattanooga Historical Justice Coalition}
{TLC}: Is there anything else you would like to share with The LOVE Channel?
Shelley: Yes, I would like to give a shout out to Rev. Dwight Harrison for having me and Chris on his Radio Show 96.1 The Beat-Breaking The Cycle to discuss CHJC.
{Shelley and CHJC Vice President Chris}
Also shout out to WDEF News12 for interviewing Me, Mamie Owens, And Robin Moore about our concerns with The Neo-Nazi Party having a rally here in Chattanooga. Shout out to my core members of CHJC, Chris Winston, Mamie Owens, Robin Moore, and Tarashenda Harris, God put us all together for a reason and purpose, I love you all. My final shout out is actually the best one of all, shout out to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, without him there is no me, no nothing, THANK YOU FATHER!!!
All I can say to that is amen and Amen. And Shelley, #UInspire
You can see more of Shelley’s photography here.


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