Portraits of Community: African American Photography in Texas

Overview

Using a century of photographs taken by black photographers and detailed interviews with the men and women behind the cameras, Portraits of Community is an eloquent visual history of African American life. Images of African Americans have, for the most part, been absent from Texas's photographic history. Scholarly texts on photography rarely mention black Texans, and few museums have exhibited their work. Portraits of Community is a groundbreaking study that presents over 200 powerful images of black Texans taken...
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Overview

Using a century of photographs taken by black photographers and detailed interviews with the men and women behind the cameras, Portraits of Community is an eloquent visual history of African American life. Images of African Americans have, for the most part, been absent from Texas's photographic history. Scholarly texts on photography rarely mention black Texans, and few museums have exhibited their work. Portraits of Community is a groundbreaking study that presents over 200 powerful images of black Texans taken by five generations of relatively unknown black photographers. Although a few photographs of black life in Texas by white photographers are presented for background and context, the book focuses largely on the growth and development of vernacular and community photography among African Americans in the state - photographs taken for personal and family use or to meet public demand. In addition to the introductory essays and interviews, Portraits of Community also features the work of NAACP photographers who documented the civil rights movement and captured images of Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Barbara Jordan, Adam Clayton Powell, and others. From portraiture to artistic and historic moments, these images run counter to media stereotypes and reveal a deep sense of pride in African American community life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876111536
  • Publisher: Texas State Historical Association
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.83 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author


ALAN GOVENAR is a writer, photographer, folklorist, and filmmaker who lives in Dallas. Through his nonprofit organization, Documentary Arts, Inc., he has worked in association with NOVA, La Sept/ARTE, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on a number of projects. The off-Broadway premier of his musical, Blind Lemon Blues, co-created with Akin Babatunde and based on the life of Blind Lemon Jefferson, received rave reviews in The New York Times and Variety.
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