Thursday, March 15, 2012

PRESS: Remembering Roy DeCarava: Pioneering Harlem Photographer

Roy DeCarava

He [Roy DeCarava] had a capacity for not making the nooks and crannies of poverty the subject of his work,” said Gregory Baggett, a historian at Columbia University. “Harlem was a means to a bigger picture of human interaction.”

Born in an America where blacks couldn’t share water fountains with whites, but dying in one that elected a black president, DeCarava played his own part in the civil rights saga of the past 60 years. He was an active member of the Committee to End Discrimination Against Black Photographers and engaged in protests against Life magazine’s discriminatory hiring practices in the ’60s. But his photography itself broke down barriers.
“His [Roy DeCarava] work really had to do with social equality and human rights,” Baggett explained. “All human beings have a capability to be rendered as a signifier of beauty, and I think that’s what Roy did.”

Shane Snow, Remembering Roy DeCarava: Pioneering Harlem Photographer, The Uptowner (November 4, 2009)