The stark black and white photos are beautiful in their simplicity — intimate portraits of couples, young and old, with children, near retirement, just getting started in life, gay, straight.
The images have two things in common: They all depict interracial relationships, and they all feature captions taken from the stinging insults hurled at the couples by strangers over the years.
Photographer Donna Pinckley has been working on her "Sticks And Stones" photo series since May 2014, and the images the Arkansas-based artist has posted on her blog are stunning both in their elegance and ugliness.
"All she wants from you is a green card."
Pinckley told MTV News the series was inspired by a conversation she had with the mother of a girl she'd photographed over the years, who shared the cruel comments aimed at the girl and her boyfriend.
"Don't like black women?"
"It reminded me of a couple that I had photographed years ago and the comments made to them," she said. "I wanted to photograph the couples that showed how close they are in their relationship and then ask if they ever had any negative comments made directly to them, overheard or someone told them that a comment was made about them. I decided to put the remark in the border of the photograph to show the contrast of the beautiful portrait."
"Look at you taking another one of our good black men."
While most millennials support interracial relationships, Pinckley said the stories she's heard from her subject prove that plenty of bias still exists. "Sometimes I feel that it's worse but maybe it's just because that I feel society should be further along with this issue," she said.
"There are other black girls out there."
"They are disgusting."
"What's wrong with American women? Do you not like American women?"
"Why are you with her?"
"Wouldn't you rather date someone your own race?
"You'll never be able to give her what a white man could."
Pinckley is still taking pictures in the series and hopes that at some point she'll run out of material. "Society still has room for improvement," she said.
All images used with permission of the artist.