As a black woman, this is why I’m interested in photography.

Images are powerful. They tell a story. They help convey a message. Images have the power to capture truth in the purest form, or they can be used to spread myths. Images can define us. We learn a great deal of history through images. Black people have been portrayed negatively in images over time. In many cases, the camera was used as a weapon to perpetuate stereotypes of African-Americans as being inferior. However, there are images and representations to challenge the negative portrayal in media. Since the invention of photography in 1840, there have been black image makers and viewfinders that are committed to portraying real black American life through their lenses. I would love to see this documentary in full so I can learn more about the history of black photographers.

This is the trailer for the documentary work-in-progress “Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker, Thomas Allen Harris. The documentary is co-produced by noted scholar, curator, and author, Deborah Willis PhD who is Chair of the New York University, Tisch School of the Arts department of Photography & Imaging. Willis has authored over thirty publications on African-American photography including, “Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers from 1840 to the Present” and most recently, “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs.”


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