african american photographers

mo.ma
Reclaiming the Photographic Narrative of African-Americans
A new issue of Aperture magazine explores images of African-Americans that not only challenge long-held narratives about race, but also redefine them.
By James Estrin

MoMA collection artists Lyle Ashton Harris, Lorna Simpson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and others are featured in “Vision and Justice,” a special issue of Aperture magazine guest edited by Sarah Lewis addressing the role of photography in the African American experience. Read more about it via The New York Times’s Lens blog. 

Two unidentified African American children posing in front of brick and wisteria backdrop. Little boy standing next to little girl who is sitting on a stool.

  • Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library
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EMEMBERING GORDON ROGER ALEXANDER BUCHANAN PARKS (November 30, 1912 - March 7, 2006)
Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was an African-American photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer who used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell his own personal history. He is best remembered for his photographic essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film, Shaft. In 1948, Parks became a staff photographer for Life magazine, the FIRST African American to hold that position. Parks, who remained with the magazine until 1972, became known for his portrayals of ghetto life, black nationalists, and the civil rights movement. A photo-essay about a child from a Brazilian slum was expanded into a television documentary (1962) and a book with poetry (1978), both titled Flavio. Parks was also noted for his intimate portraits of such public figures as Ingrid Bergman, Barbra Streisand, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Muhammad Ali. Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks received the: Spingarn Medal · National Medal of Arts · NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame Award (1984) and
Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas on November 30, 1912. He died March 7, 2006, in New York City, New York at the age of 93.

Malcolm X was born today in 1925. Gordon Parks captured this image of him addressing the crowd at a Harlem rally in 1963. The photograph is on view now in From the Collection: 1960–1969


[Gordon Parks. Malcolm X Gives Speech at Rally, Harlem, New York. 1963. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Gordon Parks Foundation]