Photography by Ricky Day for Ricky Day Studio
For the past six years, Native Son has served as the leading platform championing Black, gay and queer men. The organization was founded by influential media executive & journalist Emil Wilbekin whose mission is to create a safe and transparent space for Black gay men to grow, learn and thrive.The impact of the organization can be felt and seen through the many lives it touches.
To honor pride month, Native Son partnered with photographer Ricky Day for the 2022 Pride photoshoot.
Riley S. Wilson, a sci-fi/drama writer, director, editor and founder of the Little Apple Universe, was selected to be a part of this year's Native Son Pride photoshoot and also spoke about the organization's influence.
“Being a part of the Native Son Pride shoot was an actualizing moment for me. I no longer try to hide the dichotomy between being a Black man and being a queer man. I am both. I have always been both. I often think about how while the 1969 Stonewall Riots were igniting in the streets of New York, 900 miles to the west, Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party of Illinois were literally fighting for their lives.
I cannot separate the importance of these two simultaneous events to my current life experience. It is what contextualizes the value of an organization like Native Son. Beyond the media programming, wellness forums, and socio-political initiatives, Native Son is an organization that creates space for a complete Riley--a Riley that will burn the system down while stirring the flames with a rainbow fan.”