MPW.71 / 2019 Kenden Baskett: Behind the Mask by Moriah Ratner
Photographer
Moriah Ratner Portland, Ore.
Team Cliff & Vi

Story Summary

Kenden Baskett, 13, lives life with autonomy and charisma, defying discrimination against his unique appearance as a young albino boy. Kenden is one of about 20,000 people in the U.S. with albinism, a rare genetic condition that causes the hair and skin to have little or no color, and means that Kenden has to be careful of too much sun exposure. A Spider-Man fanatic, Kenden has the notable caring qualities of a superhero. Soaring through the world with agility comes at ease for Kenden despite the visual impairments common to albinism. Fellow eighth-grade classmates at Laura Speed Elliott Middle School in Boonville, warmly greet Kenden, though his feelings of isolation remain. He is nurtured by the love and support of his father, Jamaal, a police officer, and his mother, Teeyauka, a nurse.