Black photographer, VR engineer continue to blaze trails

Two young African Americans working in the field of the arts, science and technology are continuing to blaze trails, following in the footsteps of innovators who preceded them.

Video Transcript

- Well, as you know we're celebrating Black History Month here at Eyewitness News. And we share with you rich stories to the past about African-Americans' landmark contributions. Well, tonight, we take a look to the future and highlight the next generation of trailblazers. Kimberly Richardson with the story of two young African-Americans already making their mark, even making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: His work is bold, daring.

MYLES LOFTIN: I feel like if I can, I should.


JASMINE ROBERTS: I'm an ex-physicist, a gameplay engineer.

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: In a league of their own.

JASMINE ROBERTS: When you enter a room, you sort of break people's expectations, just being how you are.

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: Jasmine Roberts and Myles Loftin just made Forbes' prestigious 30 Under 30 list. African-Americans making waves and getting noticed.

MYLES LOFTIN: Excuse me, could I take a picture of you real quick?

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: There's an unmistakable sense of intimacy in his photographs. Take a look at this Nike ad, this for Prada. Based in Brooklyn, the Parsons graduate tells me common themes in his work include Blackness and identity. This series, "In the Life," Myles shot as he was exploring his own sexuality, wanting to capture the sense of community among gay Blacks.

MYLES LOFTIN: Oftentimes, marginalized people aren't really in charge of how they're being seen in the world. I'm trying to change that and take the power back.

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: In this series, Myles demonstrates how images shaped societal views. He found pictures online of men of color in hoodies didn't reflect his reality. By using vibrant color, he flipped the script, changed the narrative.

MYLES LOFTIN: Trying to go for something that was, like, more positive, as opposed to put a stamp of, like, criminal.

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: Jasmine is one of only a handful of Black women at her elite level.

JASMINE ROBERTS: There's kind of this heavy feeling of being-- of your colleagues perceiving you as a diversity hire. And it feels like that's all they want you to be.

- There are hazards that beset the Enterprise and its crew. On board ship--

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: Star Trek sparked her love of science and technology. And Jasmine's scope is evolving. Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU, NASA, and Sony PlayStation.

JASMINE ROBERTS: We filed a patent about how people could feel comfortable in VR.

KIMBERLY RICHARDSON: As for augmented reality, right now Jasmine is developing a game featuring New York City landmarks. Yes, that is the Guggenheim. These rising stars no doubt come from different worlds, but hope to inspire others to take the road less traveled.

JASMINE ROBERTS: Existing in the space and doing the work that I do gives others the courage to do the work.