Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
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Review

From 1963 we hear author James Baldwin lamenting the agony of every black child trying to find “in the body politic, in the body social, some image of himself or herself which is not demeaning”. For so long in art and photography black people were depicted as sub-human, figures of fun or fear, but Thomas Allen Harris’s artfully mounted film shows how in recent decades a neglected history of black American photographers and subjects has slowly been unearthed.

In daguerreotypes from the 1840s the faces of slaves and those who’d gained freedom fix us with their gaze. A wealth of glorious images brings us up to date with artists of the moment that restores dignity and redresses the balance for forgotten generations.

Summary

Documentary exploring the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African-Americans from the times of slavery to the present day.
Documentary