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Blake Wintory

photographer, politician, sheriff, assayer, barber, and lawyer, was born a slave in Carroll County, Kentucky. William Hines Furbush became a member of the Arkansas General Assembly as well as the first sheriff of Lee County, Arkansas. His Arkansas political career began in the Republican Party at the close of Reconstruction and ended in the Democratic Party just as political disfranchisement began.

Little is known about Furbush's early life, though his literacy suggests a formal childhood education. Around 1860 he operated a photography studio in Delaware, Ohio. In March 1862 he traveled to Union-controlled Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas, on Kate Adams and continued to work as a photographer. In Franklin County, Ohio, that December he married Susan Dickey. A few years later, in February 1865 he joined the Forty second Colored Infantry at Columbus Ohio He received an honorable discharge at the ...

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

In September 1839 the front page of the Colored American newspaper carried an article about a process invented by the artist and scientist Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre for permanently fixing an image onto a surface. Named for its inventor, the daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process. The procedure for making daguerreotypes was shared freely with the world, and Americans were quick to embrace the new medium as both subjects and creators. Within a year of the invention the first photographic likenesses created by an African American were exhibited by Jules Lyons a New Orleans artist turned daguerreian practitioners of the process were called daguerreotypists or daguerreians Before the invention of the daguerreotype the visual documentation of places persons objects and events was left to the interpretation of illustrators and painters Only the rich and persons of note could afford the luxury of having their likenesses captured by ...

Article

Darren Newbury

South African photographer, was born Constance Stuart in Cornwall, England, on 7 August 1914, the daughter of a Scottish mining engineer and the wife he met while studying in Cornwall. The family emigrated the year Constance was born. Her father went ahead taking up a post as manager of a tin mine at Groenfontein, northern Transvaal; mother and daughter followed when the latter was aged three months. The marriage did not last and in 1920 Stuart-Larrabee moved with her mother to Pretoria, where she was educated at Arcadia School and Pretoria High School for Girls.

Her enthusiasm for photography was first sparked when she received a Kodak Box Brownie for her tenth birthday. She learned to process her own pictures and in 1930 exhibited eight contact prints at the Pretoria Agricultural Society Show. In 1933 she travelled to Europe to study photography She went first to Regent Street ...

Article

Amy Helene Kirschke

The examination of African American history and culture must necessarily include an extended exploration of the visual arts—an African American “visual vocabulary”—that examines how African Americans visually define their own collective identity and historical identity. W. E. B. Du Bois, the towering black intellectual of the twentieth century, stated that history must be explored and felt in order to know the responsibilities of the present; imagery was and is a part of that history. Past and present would meet in this imagery with frightful intensity and authentic tragedy. Art could be a means of trying to establish a new memory of the black American experience, and in doing so, discovering an identity both American and African.

Black society and white society saw the same events differently and then also recalled them differently African American visual artists had to be empowered with political rights and access to political power which ...

Article

Eunice Angelica Whitmal

daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and devoted Christian, was the primary subject of the famed African American photographer Gordon Parks Sr. In Parks's famous photograph American Gothic, a scathing reinterpretation of Grant Woods's classic painting of that name, Ella Watson, holding a mop and broom, stands in front of an American flag hanging on a wall in a government office. The photograph is a searing representation of the discrimination and segregation that many African Americans encountered regardless of their gender or class position.Behind Watson's famous image was a woman with a challenging, albeit obscure, life story. Parks recalled several details Watson shared with him during an informal interview:

She began to spill out her life s story It was a pitiful one She had struggled alone after her mother had died and her father had been killed by a lynch mob She had gone through high school married ...