Photography in the Black Diaspora

Photography has impacted ideas about race since the moment of its invention. And much like race, photography’s relationship to truth has been hotly debated — seen on the one hand as scientifically factual, on the other as socially constructed. This class will consider how photography has shaped modern conceptions of Blackness, in particular, as well as how Black photographers have manipulated the medium in the interest of individual and collective self-expression. We will proceed chronologically from the era of enslavement and colonialism through the Harlem Renaissance, Apartheid, the Black Arts Movement and beyond, while addressing a range of photographic practices from ethnographic images to studio portraiture and from photojournalism to fine-art photography.

Participants must have a valid Fleisher membership. Please note that our tuition-free classes for adults fill very quickly. If you are considering purchasing a membership in order to register for a tuition-free class, please click “register” to check whether or not the class is full prior to your purchase.

Special notes:
This is an online class hosted through Zoom. We recommend that you download the free Zoom application on your computer, phone, or tablet in advance of the first class. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the course via Zoom. The same link will be used each week.

What you will learn:

  • A historical overview of key Black photographers in the United States

  • A historical overview of key Black photographers on and from the continent of Africa

  • An overview of key theoretical debates in the relationship between photography and race

  • A snapshot of the contemporary field of Black photography at present