African American photographers launch a partnership with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: a photography blog
Feel Like Going On is a collective of Black photographers showcasing the positive and uplifting side of Black life and times in the Pittsburgh and surrounding regions. Through these images, our intent is to inspire others, promote the work, careers and professional development of participating photographers.
Six years ago, a group of Black photographers, inspired by the legacy of the late Pittsburgh Courier photojournalist Charles "Teenie" Harris, organized to record and celebrate contemporary life in Pittsburgh’s African-American communities. Now, that exhibition and collection of images, titled "Feel Like Going On," will live on and be expanded in a community blog with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper.
“Feel Like Going On” was founded by journalists and former Post-Gazette reporters Ervin Dyer and Monica Haynes. They saw the project as a way to respond to the lack of positive images of Blacks in mainstream newspapers. It was also a way to celebrate the legacy of Mr. Harris -- a prolific photographer whose early 20th Century iconic images of celebrities and regular folks earned him a 2005 Hall of Fame honor with the National Association of Black Journalists and whose photography is now garnering national attention in a retrospective of his work at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.
The “Feel Like Going On” blog, in addition to showcasing the 40 images that were a part of the original exhibition, will allow a core group of photographers to regularly contribute fine art images, news images, and photographs of life as it unfolds in Black Pittsburgh’s churches, communities, workspaces, playgrounds etc. Ms. Haynes, currently an editor for In Community Magazines and owner of Mon Media, which provides services to small nonprofits, will occasionally contribute to the blog’s development. We are also grateful to Janera Solomon, who curated the original exhibition. A special thanks to artist Sandra Gould Ford, a member of the original group, for her suggestion that “Feel Like Going On” become a part of the blogosphere and her early organizing efforts to help this project endure, expand, and to live again in a new medium. A central mission of the collective of photographers will also be to educate and support the careers of the local photographers. The “Feel Like Going On” blog will initially feature the work of a “core group” of photographers but the organizers hope to recruit others.
While the photographers are carrying out this project in part to honor Mr. Harris, they also have a mission to help people to understand that when Mr. Harris was no longer able to record Black life with his camera, the community he photographed did not disappear.
One of the larger goals of the project is to provide a photo-ethnography in miniature. Each photograph stands alone, but, over time, becomes part of a quilt of images that taken together serve to dispel one-dimensional stereotypes of Black people and showcase the broad narrative fabric of their daily lives.
“This is an effort to document and celebrate the fullness of life in the African-American community and the people who in spite of challenges and struggles,” says Mr. Dyer, “feel like going on.”
Ervin Dyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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