DETROIT (WWJ) When does it end? That’s the question photographer Joe Crachiola asked himself about a photo he took 40 years ago of four children — two white and two black — innocently hugging and playing.
Race is invisible, they’re just kids having what looks like a great day playing in an alley in Mount Clemens, Mich., not giving any thought about who belongs where. “Every time I look at that picture I wonder, ‘When does that become an issue for us, when do we lose touch with that innocence and that ability to just accept one another for who we are without making judgments based on ethnicity or race?'” Crachiola said.
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin trial, the photo has gone viral, viewed well over 1 million times on the Internet.
Chris Seeley, 49, of Texas is one of the kids in the picture, and he said he understands why it has garnered so much attention.
“Why can’t we take the lesson from these kids back in 1973 where we just all get along?” Seeley said.
Crachiola said the photo hung around in his mind and on his dining room wall as a potent reminder of the innocence of children. A retired Macomb Daily newspaper photographer, he said he posted the photo online after the George Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict in the shooting death of black teen Martin.
It seemed to immediately spark in the public’s imagination.
“I think it was just one of those happy moments, kids being kids, and just having fun, I probably didn’t think too much about it when I actually shot it, when you’re doing that kind of work, you’re just reacting,” Crachiola said.
And there’s another chapter in the story. The photo has become so popular, the four people in the photo are planning a reunion.