Some of the many beautiful people I discovered on the Journey.  Photos by Carlton Mackey.  CLICK Carlton Mackey, the creator of 50 SHADES OF BLACK, just returned from a Journey to Jordan, Israel, and Palestine.  He was chosen to join a delegation of Emory University faculty and staff along with activists, religious leaders, deans, and a University Trustee as part of a program called JOURNEYS OF RECONCILIATION.

The goals of the Journeys Program are:

  1. To explore root causes of conflict in this region of the world
  2. To interface, study, and examine issues of the region that have personal, social, and historical consequences
  3. To explore points of contact between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in peace efforts
  4. To establish friendships and possible partnerships of mutual learning

This experience was life changing.  I feel as if my eyes have been opened and I have begun a new process of discovery.  In this discovery I am challenged to re-examine so many things that I thought I knew and to commit myself to continued learning.  I have a deeper appreciation for culture and diversity and am more aware than ever before of both the beauty and complexity of both.  I feel revitalized in my efforts through this platform, 50 SHADES OF BLACK, to foster rich dialogue around issues surrounding sexuality and the complexity of skin tone in the formation of identity.  I feel more than ever that this is a global conversation.

I am so pleased to have you join me in the exploration.  Let us JOURNEY together.  Welcome.

- Carlton Mackey, Creator 50 SHADES OF BLACK

When you look at the faces of the people in this collage what do you see?  Are you surprised by anything?  Why?  How might each of their experiences be different?  What factors may play a part?  How might your experiences connect with the experiences of the people in this image?

Meet Khaled Kanaan - The photographer (Amman, Jordan)

Meet Naim - The guide

Meet Nadine -The Student Photographer

Meet Yeshambel – The Guard