2013

African American Men and New Orleans

Photogragphy by Dr. Nikki Brown

Community Partner: PhotoNOLA 2013

Dr. Nikki Brown’s project employs images of African American male life in New Orleans in order to portray the full richness and complexity of the experience. The lives of African American men in New Orleans have been well-documented with the familiar pictures of second lines, social clubs, Mardi Gras day parades, and Mardi Gras Indians. This project counters the daily barrage of negative images of African American men, by emphasizing hope over despair and by portraying African American men in commonplace, authentic spaces. 

THE CLASSIC WORKS OF EMORY DOUGLAS

The McKenna Museum presented the classic works of Emory Douglas with a reception and presentation with the artist on October 24, 2013. Emory Douglas created the visual identity for the Black Panther Party and his iconic images came to symbolize the struggles of the movement. As Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the 1980s, Douglas’ work, described as ‘Militant Chic’, featured in most issues of the newspaper The Black Panther. His work is characterized by strong graphic images of young African American men, women and children. He used the newspaper’s popularity to spur people to action.

Hometown

Community Partner: Youth Photographers Alliance New Orleans

YPA organized mentoring for 17 teams around the world: US, Canada, England, Scotland, and Thailand. In all 70 college photography students received coaching from 32 professionals, photographers and photo editors. The exhibition features works exploring the theme of Hometown by Annie Wentzell, Nika B. Carter, Amanda Torres, Zach Breaux and Donna Viering. New Orleans photographers Jennifer Shaw and Daymon Gardner served as mentors.

 

Faces of Treme

Photographs by Kieth Calhoun & Chandra McCormick

Curated by; Deborah Willis

Community Partners: L9 Center for the Arts & PhotoNOLA

Sponsor: The New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Foundation

Preserving the cultural history of African American life in the south, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, native Lower 9th Ward photographers, have been documenting rural communities throughout Louisiana for more than 30 years. Following the beat of the Second Line into the heart of historic Tremé, the oldest African American community in the United States, McCormick and Calhoun have their ears to the ground and their eyes on the soul of their subjects. Their photographs exist as an archival memory of a ritualistic, vibrant and celebratory Tremé – a place that has birthed artists such as Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, Lionel (Uncle Lionel) Batiste, and the Rebirth Brass Band. Beyond documentation, their photographs bare witness to a changing demographic. McCormick and Calhoun’s images shed new light and honor the Indigenous families who make up the fabric of a unique historic Tremé.

Donald Harrison, Sr. The Legacy Continues

Curators; Cherice Harrison-Nelson & Herreast Harrison

Community Partners: SUNO & The Donald Harrison, Sr. Museum

Donald Eldridge Harrison, Sr. is remembered as a man of diverse interests and talents. He was a popular and respected Big Chief of the Guardians of the Flame who was well-read in history, philosophy, and literature. He had a passion for jazz that was as strong as his strong passion for sharing the traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians. Mr. Harrison’s love of African Diaspora cultural traditions continues to inspire and inform his family. Donald Harrison, Sr.: The Legacy Continues is an opportunity to learn about this unique man through archival photographs and artifacts.

Support for this exhibition was provided by the We Shall Overcome Fund & The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

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2008

Fertile Ground: The Civil Rights Movement and It's Legacy

Documentary photography by Dr. Doris Derby

Community Partners: Junebug Productions  & Free Southern Theater

Amid the violence and injustice of the civil rights movement, FST founder Dr. Doris Derby’s photographs focused on the organizing efforts of African Americans. “I was documenting not only the political side, but the economic, the educational, and the artistic side that complemented the political. And I wanted to make sure that the self-empowerment activities that the communities were involved in were documented.” The photography exhibition features the work of five civil rights organizations.

October 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Southern Theater (1963-1980), the organizational predecessor to Junebug Productions. Talkin’ Revolution is a historic four-day gathering of artists, activists, and educators coming together to celebrate and honor the 50-year legacy of Free Southern Theater as carried forward by Junebug Productions and others. The gathering included panel discussions, presentations and performances that reflected on the historic and present day impact of Free Southern Theater.

Sustaining Life: Water, Grain & Beer

Community Partner: Southern University at New Orleans Museum Studies Program

SUSTAINING LIFE: WATER. GRAIN. BEER, an exhibit of African ceramic vessels from the collection of the Center for African and African American Studies at Southern University at New Orleans. Curated by students of the Museum Studies graduate program at SUNO : April Baham, Renae Friedley, Belinda Johnson, Jeanne Johnson, Lu'Chana Keller, Rachel Warner and Kim Coleman.

The George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art

2003 Carondelet St.

New Orleans, La 70130

(504) 323-5074