“The Leftover People,” was awarded the 2005 Robert F. Kennedy Award for the Disadvantaged.
In “The Leftover People,” photographer Manny Crisostomo and reporter Stephen Magagnini introduced Sacramento to its future neighbors – a last wave of Hmong refugees long stuck in Thailand.
The photographs, published as a special section, brought an outpouring of offers of assistance and donations of clothing and food for the newcomers.
And no wonder. Manny, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, spent five months documenting a complete portrait of who would be coming, and who would not, plus what the future might hold for them and for Sacramento.
He began with a visit to the squatter’s camp where many of the refugees have lived for years. He had to talk his way into the camp, past Thai guards who previously had prevented access beyond staged events and public areas.
Then, he traveled to the Thai villages where former camp residents had moved in search of better lives – only to discover that by doing so they may have missed the chance to come to America.
Manny’s evocative images capture the hopes and emotions of the Hmong as they journey from the Third World to America to find a new home.
His photographs bring to life a struggle to overcome history without losing it, and tell the story of people who are our neighbors whether next door or across the ocean, and the basic human essence we all share, the desire for our families to have a home.
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