2024 Eyes of History® Still Contest: Picture Story – Feature

A series of pictures that depicts a feature story line or single feature theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.

First Place

Jahi Chikwendiu, The Washington Post
Black Maternity Health: Taking Life Into Their Own Hands: In Texas, a coalition of Black birth workers, and their clients, decided they must confront the national crisis of rising maternal deaths and critical complications, because the price of waiting on government and medical systems is too high. The coalition is part of a diverse movement of women people who say they are unapologetic about seeing Black pregnancy through the lens of power, potential and promise rather than pathology. Their careers are informed by personal experience and by research showing Black mothers and babies suffer more than most in the deadliest place to give birth among high-income nations. Black women in Texas — the state that accounts for 10 percent of the nation’s births — die at more than twice the rate of their White counterparts in connection with childbirth and at more than four times that of Hispanic women, according to a preliminary review in the state’s most recent Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee report.

Second Place

Jim Watson, Agence France-Presse
Stuggling Bay: The Chesapeake Bay watershed received a grade of D-plusin an evaluation from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the same grade earned in its last report two years ago. Efforts to restore the nation’s largest estuary are struggling to reduce agricultural pollution as runoff is increasing amid inconsistent enforcement from government agencies, new development and climate change, yet beauty can still be found throughout the area reminding us of the work we have still ahead.

Trees and brushes grows up out of the bow of the shipwrecked Benzonia, just one of more than 200 ships in the Ghost Fleet at the Mallows Bay Park used as a reclamation site for the bay’s natural environment in Nanjemoy, Md., on Aug. 22, 2023.

Third Place

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds, Agence France-Presse
Pretty Shooters: Taniece Reed, CEO and founder of Pretty Shooters Firearms Training, grew up around firearms, and started the business after she had a hard time finding a female instructor in the African-American community, that she could relate to. She wanted to train women and families in her community to be comfortable and safe around firearms and many clients joined after the covid-19 pandemic, fearing the consequences of government regulations or lack thereof.

Taniece Reed, CEO and founder of Pretty Shooters Firearms Training, displays a magazine as she teaches a class in her office as Vernice Howard looks on in Upper Marlboro, Md., on March 19, 2023.

Award of Excellence

Carolyn Kaster, The Associated Press
Coal Country Drag: Deep in Pennsylvania coal country, the Daniels drag family is up to some sort of exuberance almost every weekend. In a string of towns running along a coal seam, the sparkle of small-town drag queens and kings colors a way of life rooted in soot, family, and a conservative understanding of the world. Here two very old traditions mingle — and mostly happily, it seems, in contrast to the fierce political winds ripping at drag performances and the broader rights of LGBTQ+ people.

Award of Excellence

Carol Guzy, for NPR
Profound New Battle: Sgt. Misha Varvarych, 28, a Ukrainian 80th Airborne Assault Brigade commander and his fiancé Ira Botvynska, 19, traveled to the U.S. to receive rehabilitation and state-of-the-art prosthetics with assistance from the nonprofit Revived Soldiers Ukraine in Orlando Fa., in January-April of 2023. He faces a profound new battle - to walk again. They navigate an altered destiny after he lost both legs fighting during the Russian invasion amid a growing number of war wounded amputees. Their unflinching romance speaks not of life interrupted but rather adapted and embraced. To live with joy and hope has become a weapon against war. The nonprofit has brought countless soldiers to the U.S. to heal since there is a shortage of specialists in Ukraine and hospitals are also under attack. They had a first dance with his new legs under a tropical moon. ‘God has plans for me’, states Misha confidently. ‘I need bionic legs to be able to lift my child off the ground in the future.’

Award of Excellence

Jahi Chikwendiu, The Washington Post
Global Warming and Malaria Spread in Mozambique: Malaria is part of an accelerating wave of sickness and death due to climate change. Humanity is increasingly confronted with lethal heat, malnutrition linked to evermore common droughts and floods, and illnesses borne by mosquitoes and ticks — including other killers like dengue, Zika and chikungunya. The threat posed by malaria stands to soar as the planet warms because of longer transmission seasons, more frequent and severe extreme weather events, and the migration of malaria-carrying mosquitoes to new latitudes and altitudes, according to a Washington Post analysis of climate modeling and reporting from the southern African country of Mozambique. Mozambique’s malaria cases are on pace this year to reach their highest level since 2017, when the government began its current process for counting cases. While infectious-disease experts have for years documented that rising temperatures expand the range of deadly pathogens, the ominous trend here underscores the extent to which nearly two decades of global progress against malaria is being eroded in part because of climate change.