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Donna M. Wells

photographer, journalist, and diplomat, was born on the campus of Atlanta University (later Clark Atlanta University), in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Oglethorpe Laboratory Elementary School, a practice school on the campus. Davis's professional career began in high school and continued until his retirement in 1985. He was first introduced to photography by William (Bill) Brown, an instructor at the Atlanta University Laboratory High School where Davis was a student. Throughout high school and later as a student at Morehouse, Davis supported himself through photography assignments from local newspapers and public relations firms.

Davis's college education was suspended in 1944 when he joined the armed forces during World War II and fought with the Ninety-second Infantry Division in Italy. After his tour, Griffith returned to Atlanta in 1946 and continued his college studies. He befriended writer and professor Langston Hughes and civil rights activist and ...

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Born in Portland, Oregon, Carrie Mae Weems grew up in a working-class family. After studying at California Institute of Arts she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the University of California, San Diego in 1984. A self-proclaimed “image-maker,” Weems deals with issues of history, gender, and class by combining photographic images and narrative text. Often achingly personal, Weems's images explore issues of bigotry, self-presentation, and relationships by incorporating African American folklore and bigoted or stereotypical narratives into her work. Her early work dealt with issues of family and class and quite often featured Weems and members of her own family. Portraits such as Honey Coloured Boy, Chocolate Coloured Man, Golden Yella Girl and Blue Black Boy—taken with a Polaroid camera and then hand tinted—illustrate both real and unreal varieties of “black” skin, calling into question the category “black” itself.

Weems' Sea ...