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crystal am nelson

photographer, was born Winifred Hall in Jamaica. She moved at age eighteen to New York City, where she enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP), which was founded in 1910. Other notable black graduates of NYIP include Ernest Cole, South Africa's first known black photojournalist, and Matthew Lewis Jr., who won the Pulitzer Prize for his portfolio of silver gelatin and color photography, a first in Pulitzer history, in 1975.

While completing her photography studies, Allen apprenticed with Harlem-based photographer William Woodard in his studio Woodard Studio After Allen graduated sometime between the late 1920s and the early 1930s the precise date is unknown Woodard relocated to Chicago allowing Allen to take over his studio and rename it Winifred Hall Allen Photography Studio While operating her studio Allen also taught at the Mwalimu School of African culture and language which was founded in ...

Article

Terencia Kyneata Joseph

was born on the Leeward Caribbean island of Nevis. The names and occupations of his parents are not known. Around the age of 15, he migrated to the United States in 1980 to complete his education. He attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in 1989. In 1997 he was awarded a master of fine arts degree from Hunter College, City University of New York.

Very little research has been done on Boddie’s years as a young man in Nevis. It is not clear whether he immigrated to the United States with any members of his immediate family or what the arrangements were for his stay upon arrival. It is known that he has two older sisters, whose photographs are featured in his work Mourning Memory (1998).

Boddie has described himself as a multidisciplinary artist who uses the ...

Article

Tao Leigh Goffe

was born on 20 November 1958 in Kingston, Jamaica. Chong is of African and Chinese ancestry. His parents, both Afro-Chinese Jamaicans—described in the vernacular as “Chiney Royals”—were born to Afro-Jamaican mothers and Chinese (Hakka) fathers who migrated from southern China to Jamaica. Chong’s parents worked as merchants, an occupation held by many people of Chinese and especially Hakka descent in Jamaica. By the time Chong, the youngest of nine children, was born, his father had earned enough money to move the family from the countryside to the capital Kingston, where he worked as a shopkeeper, just four years before Jamaica achieved its independence from Great Britain on 6 August 1962. Chong’s father later became a local judge, or magistrate, known popularly as “The Justice.”

Chong has discussed how his dual background as a Chiney Royal has been integral to his artistic explorations Growing up in Kingston he felt caught ...

Article

Darren Newbury

South African photographer, was born Ernest Levi Tsoloane Kole on 21 March 1940 in Eersterust, a township on the outskirts of Pretoria. He was the fourth of six children. His father had migrated from a rural area and worked as a tailor; his mother was a laundress for white families in Pretoria. His early life was shaped by apartheid. He left school shortly after the introduction of the Bantu Education Act (1953), which severely restricted the educational opportunities of black South Africans, continuing his education by correspondence through Wolsey Hall, Oxford. In 1960, his family was forced to relocate to the new black township of Mamelodi when Eersterust was declared a Coloured area under the Group Areas Act (1950).

Cole s interest in photography began at a young age He was given his first camera by a Catholic priest and by his early teenage years ...

Article

C. Doreski

Born into urban poverty in Baltimore, Maryland, on 22 December 1935, Samuel James Cornish was the youngest of the two sons of Herman and Sarah Cornish. From his older brother Herman he learned early the lessons of the street, which he later would incorporate into a street-tough observancy in his poetry.

Cornish served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps (1958–1960), then returned to Baltimore, where he published two poetry collections—In This Corner: Sam Cornish and Verses (1961) and People Beneath the Window (1964). While working at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, he became part of Baltimore's political and literary underground, self-publishing a sixteen-page pamphlet entitled Generations and Other Poems (1964). A subsequent edition of Generations (1966) appeared when Cornish was editing Chicory a literary magazine by children and young adults in the Community Action Target Area ...

Article

Makeda Best

photographer. Born in Harlem, New York, in 1919, Roy DeCarava knew by the age of nine that he wanted to be an artist. His creative talent led him to the arts-oriented Textile High School. Initially enrolled at the Harlem annex, DeCarava transferred to the better-equipped main campus located in downtown Manhattan. DeCarava went on to attend college at the Cooper Union School of Art. Though inspired by the opportunities the Cooper Union offered, DeCarava left in 1940 and began attending the Works Progress Administration–sponsored Harlem Community Art Center. DeCarava thrived in Harlem's lively visual arts community, where organizations such as the Harlem Artists Guild, founded by the painter Aaron Douglas in 1935 supported classes and forums He met other African American artists and found himself at the center of discussions about African American creative expression In addition to his studies at the Harlem Art Center DeCarava worked ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

was born in Kumba Cameroon on 17 July 1962, not far from the Nigerian border. Fosso’s family belonged to the Igbo ethnic community and in his early years, he lived in Nigeria with his grandparents. When Fosso was four years old he became partially paralyzed. Although Western-trained doctors could not cure his condition, Fosso’s grandfather healed him through traditional methods. Fosso later celebrated his grandfather in a series of self-portraits. During the war for Biafran secession from Nigeria, Fosso fled into the forest to escape the Nigerian military. His mother died during the war, and his grandmother stayed in Nigeria. Fosso eventually arrived on 2 January 1972 in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, where his brother already had found work in a furniture-making business. His first job was as a shoemaker’s assistant.

Fosso s entrance into the world of photography came when he became an assistant ...

Article

Darren Newbury

South African photographer, was born on 29 November 1930 in Randfontein, a small gold-mining town to the west of Johannesburg, where his father owned a men’s clothing store. He was the youngest son of Eli Goldblatt and Olga Light, who came to South Africa as children with their parents, Jewish immigrants escaping anti-Semitism and persecution in Lithuania. As a child he developed a keen sense of social justice, shaped by his parents’ liberal values, his own experiences of anti-Semitism, and his observations of the treatment of black Africans at the police station near where he lived. He graduated from Krugersdorp High School in 1948, the year the National Party came to power.

Goldblatt became interested in photography while still at school, and his ambition to become a photographer was shaped by reading pictorial magazines from the United States and Britain such as Life, Look, and Picture Post ...

Article

Joseph C. E. Adande

Beninese artist, was born in the Republic of Benin, formerly Dahomey. Hazoumé was the name of his great-grandfather. As of 2011, Romuald Hazoumé lived in Cotonou but also had a workshop in Porto Novo. In the early twenty-first century he stands as one of the key figures of contemporary art in West Africa, not to mention in Africa as a whole. He has exhibited on all of the continents, and his work is included in the Pigozzi Collection of Contemporary African Art in Geneva, Switzerland. His La Bouche du Roi, in which he gives a contemporary interpretation of a 1789 image of a slave ship, has been purchased by the British Museum. Hazoumé has been awarded two important distinctions: the George Maciunas Prize, in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1996, and the Arnold Bode Prize in 2007 by the 12th Documenta in Kassel Germany He is a multi ...

Article

Darren Newbury

Malian photographer, was born around 1921 in Bamako, Mali (then part of French Sudan), the eldest of five children. His father was a skilled tradesman, and at a young age Keïta became an apprentice, soon developing into a proficient cabinet maker. Keïta was close to his uncle Tièmòkò, and when the latter returned from a family visit to Senegal with a camera, the young Keïta persuaded his uncle to let him have it as a present.

His first efforts with the camera were unsuccessful and many of the images were poorly exposed or blurred but he persisted Although never formally trained he did receive guidance and support locally Pierre Garnier who ran Bamako s earliest photographic shop and studio Photo Hall Soudanais offered him technical advice and encouraged him to learn to develop and print In the later 1940s Mountaga Dembélé an early Malian studio photographer allowed him to use ...

Article

Eric Bennett

Seydou Keita was born in the French Sudan (present-day Mali) and lived his entire life in his hometown of Bamako. There, from 1945 to 1977 , he created photographic portraits of thousands of locals and visitors. His work comprehensively documents the changing styles and social mores of urban West Africa during the decades when Mali underwent the transition from French colony to independent nation.

As an adolescent, Keita learned carpentry and embarked on a career as a cabinetmaker. In 1945, however, when an uncle returned from Senegal with a six by nine inch Kodak box camera Keita fell in love with photography and quickly learned its fundamentals At the time there were few photographers in Bamako but Keita learned to develop and print from French expatriate Pierre Garnier who ran a studio and photo supply shop After practicing the basics on family and friends he studied ...

Article

Marie-José Nzengou-Tayo

was born Robert V. Lemoine in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the son of Victor Lemoine and Espérance Gervais Lemoine. He credited his family’s nurturing for his passion for cinema.

A graduate of the Faculty of Ethnology (State University of Haiti), Lemoine worked in fields related to communication and performing arts to define himself as a “communication animal.” In an interview with Movie Lakay, he recalled entering the world of radio broadcasting at age 17, starting at Ricardo Widmaiër’s radio station Radio Haiti. He then worked at Radio MBC with Gérard Résil, a drama teacher, playwright, and the director of the theater company La Compagnie Gérard Résil; and as a presenter on Radio Port-au-Prince and Radio YM, before joining Radio Haiti in 1965. In 1968 Lemoine immigrated to Canada, where he worked briefly at Radio Canada and at Le Journal de Montréal He worked for a year at the newspaper ...

Article

Darren Newbury

South African photographer, was born on 18 January 1932 in Vrededorp, Johannesburg. He grew up in the suburb of Sophiatown, the cultural center of urban black life in Johannesburg until its destruction in the 1950s under the Group Areas Act. He was educated first at the Lutheran School and then at Western Native High School. His father sold fruit and vegetables from a cart, and at weekends he would go with him to Johannesburg’s white suburbs. His family had a strong sense of independence, and conflicts with the authorities over passes and trading licences were a feature of his early life. The tough environment of Sophiatown also influenced his decision to train as a boxer.

His interest in photography began while still at school, when his father gave him a Kodak Brownie; but it was not until he came across Drum magazine that he began to think of ...

Article

Kim Miller

photographer and activist, was born on 19 July 1972 in Umlazi, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Muholi studied advanced photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg. From 2007–2009 she studied Documentary Media at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Since the end of apartheid, Muholi has commented on the near total lack of visual and textual representation of people from the black lesbian community within South Africa during that country's historic antiapartheid struggle. At that time, the black lesbian community, Muholi included, was physically isolated from the urban centers where LGBT organizations and resources were located.

As an activist, she was a cofounder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), a nonprofit black lesbian advocacy organization based in Johannesburg. She has worked as a photographer and reporter for Behind the Mask an online magazine on lesbian and gay issues in Africa Muholi has received a number ...

Article

Alanna Lockward

was born on 12 June 1952 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Born into a highly educated family of medical doctors and anthropologists, her father was a high-ranking military officer of the Dominican army during Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship. She was the middle child of three sisters, one of whom was a dentist and the other a clerk and administrator.

Oquet received her early childhood education at Catholic boarding schools and later at public schools in the United States. Upon her return to the Dominican Republic, she graduated from Carol Morgan High School, an American overseas preparatory school in Santo Domingo. While in high school, she took classes at the Fine Arts Academy of Santo Domingo for a year. She trained as a bilingual secretary in the mornings and in the evenings she studied art at Universidad Acción Pro-Educación y Cultura (APEC).

In 1989 she settled in Miami Beach Florida where ...

Article

Elizabeth Schul

Gordon Parks's first two publications-Flash Photography (1947) and Camera Portraits: The Techniques and Principles of Documentary Portraiture (1948)-while written primarily for the professional photographer, reveal an aesthetic and a social commitment that structures the astonishing diversity of his subsequent work. Embodying his conviction that the photographer must combine technical intelligence, especially in the use of light, with a sensitive response to people, both works are photographic portfolios representing a cross-section of American lives—rural and urban, wealthy and leisured, poor and laboring.

Frequently identified as a Renaissance man, given the range of his accomplishments and the variety of media he has used, Parks was also the first African American to work for Life, Vogue the Office of War Information and the Farm Security Administration and one of the first African Americans to write direct produce and score a film While the commercial success of his ...

Article

Ann Wilde

photographer, poet, writer, composer, and filmmaker. Born the fifteenth and final child of a farming family in Fort Scott, Kansas, Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was born on 30 November 1912 Parks attended a segregated school where he was often stoned beaten and called derogatory names Three of his close friends had been killed because of racial violence and he was distinctly aware of the constant threat that faced him simply because he was African American and lived in the United States Parks s mother died when he was sixteen after which complying with his mother s wishes Parks moved to Minneapolis to live with his sister and brother in law Unwelcome in his brother in law s home Parks spent the winter homeless but managed to finish high school by working odd jobs He believed above all that the difficulty of his experiences ...

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Marian Aguiar

Gordon Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of a dirt farmer and the youngest of fifteen children. He left home when he was fifteen, shortly after his mother's death. After an unhappy attempt to move in with a married sister in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Parks ended up spending a frigid winter homeless, an experience that sensitized him to the plight of the poor and that he would draw on in later photography and films. At the time, his hunger and loneliness nearly led him to a life of crime; however, he managed to struggle through high school for a while, working odd jobs herding cattle, carrying bricks, and even touring with a semiprofessional basketball team.

Working as a waiter on the Northern Pacific Railroad, Parks saw magazine photos produced by the Farm Security Administration, a federally funded project that chronicled the Great Depression in rural and ...

Article

was born on 2 January 1957 in Havana, Cuba, and was raised in the suburb of Marianao. He studied English at the Higher Institute of Foreign Languages at the University of Havana from 1977 to 1983. A self-taught artist with no formal art education, Peña learned to take photographs as a child, using his family’s camera. Little else is known about his childhood or family. Although he had been showing his work in group exhibitions around Havana since 1987, Peña joined the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (Union Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, or UNEAC) in 1992, marking the start of his official career as a visual artist. He began exhibiting his photographs internationally with fellow Cuban artists in Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, England, and Houston, Texas, between 1992 and 1996 reflecting the growing market for Cuban visual art during this period Peña ...

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Prentice Herman Polk became interested in photography at a young age. He began studying through a correspondence course which he paid for with ten dollars he was mistakenly given as change for a candy bar at a local store.

Polk attended Tuskegee Institute from 1916 to 1920 and was ...