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Researching African American Photographers

Selected sources of information aiding research on African American photographers.


Here are some videos from the artist project series at the MET:

Dawoud Bey

"on Roy DeCarava."

Latoya Ruby Frazier

"on Gordon Parks's Red Jackson."

Hank Willis Thomas

"on a daguerreotype button."

Mickalene Thomas

"on Seydou Keïta."

Rashid Johnson

"on Robert Frank."

More Videos:

Carrie Mae Weems on "The Kitchen Table Series"

"Filmed in her Syracuse studio, artist Carrie Mae Weems discusses the impetus for her work The Kitchen Table Series (1990), a photographic investigation of a single domestic space in which the artist staged scenes of “the battle around the family” between women and men, friends and lovers, parents and children."

Dawoud Bey on Visualizing History

"Photographer Dawoud Bey’s work grapples with history. The artist asks, “How can one visualize African American history and make that history resonate in the contemporary moment?” Here he discusses several series, sited from Harlem to Birmingham to the Underground Railroad routes of northeastern Ohio, each of which works to make histories visible."

Gordon Parks- Half Past Autumm

"HALF PAST AUTUMM, The Life and works of Gordon Parks, a Renaissance artist; the photographer, the writer, the poet, the filmmaker, the musical composer, fine artist." 

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2014)

"Directed by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, "Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People" is the first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, and probes the recesses of American history through images that have been suppressed, forgotten, and lost."

Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop

"Inspired by the archive of Richmond native Louis Draper, VMFA has organized an unprecedented exhibition that chronicles the first twenty years of the Kamoinge Workshop, a group of African American photographers he helped to found in 1963. More than 140 photographs by fifteen of the early members—Anthony Barboza, Adger Cowans, Danny Dawson, Roy DeCarava, Louis Draper, Al Fennar, Ray Francis, Herman Howard, Jimmie Mannas Jr., Herb Randall, Herb Robinson, Beuford Smith, Ming Smith, Shawn Walker, and Calvin Wilson—reveal the vision and commitment of this remarkable group of artists."