My family and I went on a cruise for Christmas. It was great, because it was me, my wife, my 2-year-old and 5-year-old sons, my mom and dad, who have been married since 1972, my older sister, and my niece.

This is a moment I'll never forget. We're on the cruise. It was New Year's Eve. And they had a celebration. The waiters are singing a song and clapping and dancing, and my kids are dancing. And everyone's pointing and looking and laughing. And I don't know what anyone was saying. I literally felt as if I was in a movie, like I was in some Scorsese, but a happy Scorsese, like, a slow-motion thing going on. And I glance and I see my mom. And she was so happy. My mom is very reserved when it comes to letting go and having fun. But at this moment, she was having fun. She was laughing. My dad was enjoying himself. My kids were crazy. My wife is there having a good time.

michael bryant / Staff Photographer

And I literally just sat. I was soaking it in. Like I was recording it in the memory of my mind. I'm looking at it right now and I can see it.

And I could see the smiles on my parents' faces. Because it wasn't just about that moment. But it was about that moment with the family that they created through their hard work.

Both of my parents come from kind of rough backgrounds. My dad's mother passed away when he was 13. And he didn't really have a father figure in his life. My mother didn't have a stable structure.

And it was just seeing those different generations. Like, "Wow, look what I could do because I had my parents." They're looking like, "Wow, we did it right. They're OK." And then they're looking at their grandkids like, "Wow, their experiences are going to be light-years ahead of anything that we could ever think of." But that's what you dream of. And that's what you want. That's what I captured in that moment.

Those seven days on the cruise were like seven days of celebration of all of my parents' hard work. And being able to see that was just a great moment — a great moment for us as a black family.

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