Posted February 8, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Photo

Oakland Photographer Brittani Sensabaugh Captures Portraits of Life in America’s Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

IMG_7820_0 - Brittani Sensabaugh
IMG_7820_0 - Brittani Sensabaugh

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By Sara Medina for 7×7

I had known Brittani Sensabaugh for less than two minutes before she started crying. It was last Thursday morning at a well known cafe in Uptown Oakland. We had just sat down over mugs of hot chocolate, when she pointed out to me that we were the only two “melanin people” (her term for people of color) in the room. Then, in walked a young black man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Unarmed Citizen.” Cue the water works.

It took a couple minutes for Sensabaugh, a 26-year-old photographer from East Oakland, to calm her tears. As she dabbed at her eyes with a brown paper napkin, she explained her forceful reaction. It all started about six years ago when, at 20, she had moved to New York City following the sudden death of her older brother. One night, she was sporting an Oakland hoodie on the A-train, when an older Caucasian woman seized at the chance to degrade Sensabaugh’s notorious hometown—something along the lines of “that city is full of thugs, thieves, and drug dealers.”

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