By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
His two-year project, which became a book, is a collection of portraits of 75 black women entitled "I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America." The pain and beauty captured by Lanker's images have moved the nation as they have traveled from coast to coast on exhibit. Describing the effort to produce this work, Lanker said, "As I think of the women I've met through this project, it strikes me how many of them grew up in strong, supportive families with the black church playing a major role . . . . In fact, all of the women in this book have dreamed of a world not only better for themselves but for generations to come, a world where character and ability matter, not color or gender. As they dreamed of that world, they acted on those dreams and they changed America."
Pastor Stewart still labors in a part of America that has not changed, that will not acknowledge a black minister who had a dream.
In 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white man. At the time, Phoenix was just as legally segregated by race as any state in the Deep South.
Lanker has photographed Ms. Parks with a radiant light upon her courageous brow. She stands within a church pew. And now the portrait hangs in a museum in a state that three decades after Montgomery is still too stubborn to acknowledge that Dr. King changed America for the better.
Pastor Stewart seeks to right that imbalance.
And until he succeeds, Pastor Stewart works like a man possessed, until ten most nights. In the morning he walks his sons to school and tells them of their "triple heritage as Christians, Africans, and Americans. And I tell them it doesn't matter what color you are if you don't do your homework.