A Thousand Midnights

For Blacks fleeing the south during the Great Migration, economic and racial exploitation were inextricably linked. Black Americans in search of some semblance of freedom from racial terror also longed for the opportunity to provide for their families outside the racial plunder of the Southern plantation system. The purported racial openness of the north was believed to translate into more economic opportunity for Black migrants, their families, and future generations. However, as is the case with much of the American story, this dream remains just out of reach for many. This project chronicles the economic and social histories of Black Americans who came to the north during the Great Migration in search of economic opportunities. The implications of their migration, and the lack of economic opportunity they encountered, has far reaching consequences for America today.

The project explores Chicago, an American city indelibly shaped by the Great Migration. I will document the physical spaces, neighborhoods, and people who inhabit them to tell the story of Chicago’s evolution.

Carlos Javier Ortiz - We All We Got

Saturday, Jan. 15, 2015
Bronx Documentary Center

Exhibition opening of Carlos Javier Ortiz: We All We Got. In this exhibition, Ortiz explores the consequences and devastation of gun violence on American youth.

Bronx Documentary Center
January 30, 2015 Documentary photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz presented a photo slideshow of his work and signed copies of his book We All We Got at the BDC on Jan. 30. We All We Got explores the consequences and devastation of gun violence on American youth. The powerful photos from this eight-year-long documentary project bear witness to the true cost of this nationwide scourge.


Carlos Javier Ortiz - We All We Got

October 10th, 2014 - January 5th, 2015

We All We Got explores the consequences and devastation of youth violence in contemporary America from 2006 to 2013, through a mix of powerful photographs, incisive essays and moving letters from diverse individuals affected by this perennial scourge.

Carlos Javier Ortiz’s work provides an avenue for knowing these children and their families. This work is not the end of the conversation about youth violence and society’s complicity in it, but rather the beginning. The terror in the eyes of grieving children and inconsolable mothers only allows the viewer to begin to understand the toll that this reality takes on the children who live it.


Title: The Lost

Video Production | 2014 | 00:35:58 | United States | English | B&W | Two Channel Protection

Description | The names of young people killed in Chicago between 2007 and spring of 2014. (roughly 95% gunshot, the rest stabbings, arson, “trauma,” assault, and strangling)