This Photo Series Makes A Powerful Statement About Race Relations

One concise photo essay by New York photographer Chris Buck (@the_chris_buck) has set the internet ablaze this week by flipping race relations onto its head.

The series was published in the May edition of O, the Oprah Magazine, but only went viral this week after Filipina-Chinese American Twitter user Jae Ralde (@jaeralde) snapped a photo of the series, posting it to the social media platform with the caption "Flipped and switched - perspectives on race."

Almost immediately, conversations regarding race in America ensued on the tweet, which quickly amassed over 123,000 retweets in just 72 hours.

The series shows in just three compelling images a nail salon where Asian women are seen laughing joyously while having their pedicures done by white women; A young white girl in a store looking up at shelves of only black dolls; and a young Latina woman on the phone, busily disregarding her house maid of Caucasian descent.

Buck explained the importance of the photo series in an interview with Mic.com:

"When you see an image from someone [of a different race], what is your expectation of them and are we challenging it? Why do we expect a certain thing from someone of a [certain race] and expect them to be serving another [race]?"

"As a photographer in the U.S., for me to not be engaged in these issues would be a blind spot. It's important for me to be involved in stories like this, and help them become more nuanced and interesting. This is my job. 

Buck's series proves that with just three little photos, so much can be said about the state of expectations in America and the roles certain cultures are expected to fill.

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