From the Aperture site:
Photographer and filmmaker Khalik Allah’s monograph begins with a manifesto entitled “Camera Ministry.” He writes: “I shoot people who find them-selves in the worst possible situation, but I recognize their invulnerability and reflect it back to them. These are psychic x-rays. I consider my photographs energy charts.” This empathic insight notably was brought to bear in his film Field Niggas (2015), an acclaimed documentary about New Yorkers facing homeless-ness, substance abuse, and harassment on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue. Souls Against the Concrete (University of Texas Press, 2017) compiles 105 analog portraits made on those street corners over three years, foregrounding Allah’s long-held commitment to cinematic storytelling and nocturnal light. Rather than frame his nighttime Harlem subjects through terms of social abjection, vulnerability, and redemption—an over-determined lexicon typically used to regard people who occupy the streets—Allah practices a visual language of impenetrable self-possession. He acknowledges metaphors of darkness as both freeing and debilitating, but tables them. Instead, light is his driving concept and technical method, in service of what he terms soul consciousness.