Horse & Style Magazine: Daring To Claim The Sky
Compton Jr. Posse
As Featured in Horse & Style Magazine
Written by Alli Addison
Photography by Melodie McDaniel
“Our goal is to continue to provide a safe haven for at-risk youth, to guide both academic and career choices, and to give youth the opportunity to experience different cultures and environments outside of their neighborhood.” - The Compton Jr. Posse
Nearly 30 years ago, the Compton Jr. Posse was formed by Mayisha Akbar to provide inner-city youth with an alternative to the lure of the gang and drug lifestyles. What Akbar created was a year-round, after school alternative focused on offering an education, developing discipline, instilling responsibility, fostering self-esteem and giving hope. And this all came in the form of horses. Through a variety of equestrian activities and programs, Akbar found that there was no better investment in the future of these children than with the lessons they were gaining in an equestrian environment. Akbar’s program has helped generations of participants go to college, to enter the military and to embark upon entrepreneurship, giving each member a true framework for success.
In 2015, California-based writer Amelia Fleetwood was introduced to the Compton Jr. Posse and felt immediately inspired to tell this story. Fast forward three years; Amelia has partnered with American still photographer and director Melodie McDaniel, together they have produced their first monograph ‘Riding Through Compton’ and have just wrapped up their first presentation titled ‘Daring To Claim The Sky’ in conjunction with Month of Photo LA - a 38-piece exhibit that ran through the month of April and early May in downtown Los Angeles, California. The goal of this years festival showcase was to cover a range of subject matter, including “uplifting stories that serve as a testament to the human spirit.” The presentation curated by Audrey Landreth, organized by Amelia Fleetwood, and featuring the photography of Melodie McDaniel accomplished just that. Daring To Claim The Sky was captivating, thoughtful, powerful and hopeful all at once. And our team at Horse & Style Magazine was left speechless by the beauty and storytelling capability of each and every single piece. We had to learn more, so we sat down with event organizer Amelia Fleetwood and photographer Melodie McDaniel for deeper insight.