Eshawn Scranton :: A profile look into an intelligent & ambitous youngman.
This blog post is inspired by a recent coffee meet up I had with a good long time friend of mine – Eshawn (twitter aka @SFZ00). We go pretty far back. While a student at the Academy of Art University, Eshawn was one of my first portrait session subjects and has remained one of my favorite subjects to photograph. It’s incredible to see how someone progresses through my lens.
At our latest catch up we talked about how things are going. That meet up left me thinking how much Eshawn reminds me of myself when I was his age. You see Eshawn sadly lost his mother recently due to breast cancer. I can align myself with Eshawn. Eshawn was 23 when his mother passed away, she was 45. When I lost my mother, she too was 45 and I was a tad older, 25. We were both raised in a town that easily consumes kids of color and spits them out as by products of bad environments and bad upbringing. However, this isn’t the case for Eshawn and this wasn’t the case for me either. I grew up in San Francisco - a city boy. Eshawn by all accounts is a city boy too. During our conversation we talked about his mother and I held in my heart my own memories of my mother. It’s refreshing to see how similar we are in this - I’m not alone. I couldn’t stop thinking that Eshawn, like myself are beating the odds and not allowing ourselves to fall into the traditional stereotype. Hispanic and Black youths always were in some stereotype and sadly enough many of my youth friends did little to shake off that stereotypes - they only reinforced it.
Pursuit of Happiness
Today Eshawn is a barber at San Francisco’s Chicago II Barbershop. He left Apple to pursue his craft and artistry as a barber. A barber isn’t to be confused with a simple 9-5 hair cutter. His craft is far more complex and requires passion. I’ve had countless haircuts in my life, mostly by people serving a single purpose - get my hair short. Most lacked passion and artistry. However, it’s been my experience that a barber has a sense of passion and design for what they do. Eshawn is that artist. On this morning we talked about other things that inspired us.
One topic that resonated with me was his recent reunion with his father. Shortly after the passing of his mother, he was paid a visited by a man he hadn’t met before. His father visited and connected with Eshawn in a way that reads like a script from a touching heartfelt movie. Truly amazing and I’m happy for you Eshawn. I can only imagine the pride his father had when he found his son doing what he loves. Hearing this story nearly brought me to tears – as I can understand the impact of this recent encounter.
Another touching moment that really stuck with me was regarding an image I made of him a couple years back. I had made a series of images of him while on location in San Francisco. At the time his mom was with us and when she saw one of the images I made of him – she was beyond elated. She had screamed out to his auntie “that’s my boy!!!”. I can only imagine what Mrs Eshawn was feeling. It really hit my heart that I was able to bring some joy to her life and that the work we did together brought her some deep felt happiness. As I write this, I feel a tingle in my heart that stirs up emotions.
Eshawn my friend, thank you. The stories you have shared with me are appreciated. I’m honored to have been part of something greater than myself. Peace. –wilfredo
I dedicate this to all the women whom are bravely fighting breast cancer. I also dedicate this post to those we have lost to breast cancer. Peace & Love. –wilfredo