Thomas with men and women pose in front of gallery

Mother, Bethel, Harlem, USA

An Interactive Celebration of Harlem Thomas Allen Harris with his work titled A Family Album at the Harlem Stage, on view at Mother, Bethel, Harlem, USA. Photo by Natalie Conn Mother, Bethel, Harlem, USA, a multimedia exhibition produced from an innovative in-gallery summer course led by artist and filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris in the Hunter East Harlem […]

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Patricia and Rodrigo stand side by side inside a church

First Flight

My Philadelphia Story Family Pictures USA was invited by the African American Museum in Philadelphia for their monthly Macy’s Family Fun Day to host a full day of photo-sharing sessions with the community. People of all ages came with their photographs to share their Philly stories as well as their family’s diaspora, giving us personal insights into the […]

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AMC 2018 ad "Transforminf the Family album into a tool for Social change"

Transforming the Family Album at Detroit’s 2018 AMC

Every year, thousands of media-makers, organizers, and agents for social change converge in Detroit for the Allied Media Conference (AMC): a 4-day, volunteer-coordinated conference that hosts hundreds of sessions focused on using media to build a more equitable, sustainable, and collaborative world. These sessions are far-reaching and innovative in their interpretation of media, ranging from food justice […]

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Participants on stage holding up their phones displaying personal images

From Durham to Oakland

Stories of Community Participants on stage at Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration in Durham, NC “I am a person driven by an individual’s story and the stories of community. I use it in my own work by always reminding myself that we all have our own stories that have shaped us.” – DDFR participant […]

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Chantel Henry and her Grams

Before You Came, We Were Here

An Ojibway Family & The Making of Detroit Chantel Henry (Ginew Kwe or “Golden Eagle Woman”) became aware of her and her family’s deep connection to the city of Detroit about four years ago. We are so honored that she decided to share with us the story of how her grandparents, Arnold and Freda Henry, came to Detroit and her […]

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grainy Black and white Self Portrait

30,000 Hidden Images Reveal the World of a Soviet-Era Photographer

Self-portrait, taken in Dubroshkino, Leningrad, 1989. Masha Ivashintsova was born in Russia, in 1942. At 18 she started taking photographs, and became involved the underground arts movement in St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad. She shot prolifically on the streets of the city, with either her Leica IIIc or Rolleiflex. But she never showed her work […]

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Close up of CAAM workshop participants

Asian American Voices of the South

“The Family Pictures kickoff activity was a fab ice breaker and I saw my fellow table mates and the people in the room with compassion, love, and humanity that we are all in this together.” Anonymous participant Thomas Allen Harris on Stage at Beyond Borders: Diverse Voices of the American South In February, I was invited […]

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Two black and white photos of a bakery and baked goods

Recounting Asian American Narratives of the American South

When I presented my DDFR workshop at “Beyond Borders: Diverse Voices of the American South” in February, I was moved by everyone’s level of engagement and care in their fellow participants. One particular person, Hanul Bahm, spoke emotionally, clearly connecting with everyone’s stories at her table. I asked her to gather some recollections about her table, which […]

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Mixed-media collage of woman and nature

Just Beyond the River

A Folktale Exhibition Just Beyond the River: A FolkTale series Just Beyond the River features selections from Daesha Devón Harris’ series of mixed media pieces, made using a personal collection of unidentified, discarded Victorian-era portraits. In production over multiple years, throughout every season, her process includes submerging a transparent version of a portrait in a body […]

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Lucas Foglia, Vanessa and Lauren watering, GreenHouse Program, 2014.

Art & Incarceration

A Panel Discussion Lucas Foglia, Vanessa and Lauren watering, GreenHouse Program, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York. Most prisons and jails across the United States do not allow prisoners to have access to cameras. At a moment when 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the US, 3.8 million people are […]

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Image of St. Clair Bourne

Celebrating St. Clair Bourne at the Metrograph

In honor of his 75th birthday, Metrograph pays tribute to St. Clair Bourne, Harlem-born and Brooklyn-bred filmmaker, writer, activist, teacher, and organizer. Screenings include selections from a career dedicated to portraying what was ignored by mainstream media representation, along with work from a number of the many filmmakers Bourne mentored—including Thomas Allen Harris’ Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela—and many […]

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Image of Group

Re-Imagining the Family Album at Hunter College!

Below are student testimonies from Thomas’ two-day seminar, Re-Imagining the Family Album , at Hunter College’s Integrated Media Arts Program for the Masters in Fine Arts students. As I looked at the photos and interviewed my parents over my computer, I found myself trying to connect our experiences of this time of life, our midtwenties, and […]

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Mark Lee presenting a photograph of his father on his phone.

Small Talk with Mark S. Lee with Guest Don Perry

On Sunday January 14, my Executive Producer/writer of Family Pictures USA, Don Perry joined the weekly CBS Radio podcast, “Small Talk with Mark S. Lee” along with other guests: Kurt Rankin, Senior Economist, PNC Bank, Dana White, Founder and Owner, Paralee Boyd, and Karen Hudson Samuels, Executive Director, WGPR TV Historical Society.  The podcast covered various topics concerning the state of Detroit’s economy, including […]

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Rudean & grandparents

Coal, War and Love

A Family Memoir By Rudean Leinaeng Rudean holds a portrait of her grandparents, Albert & Evelyn She was beautiful, cultured, and clairvoyant–the pampered daughter of a middle-class colored family; he was handsome and hard-nosed – a laborer with little formal education. How they met and fell in love is the beginning of this family narrative. […]

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Image of a man standing in front of a car

The Language of Light

I met writer Doug Cooper Spencer via Facebook and asked him to consider writing a piece. A few days later he sent me his essay, ‘The Language of Light’,  a meditation on the power of photo literacy and stories buried behind the images. Below Doug shares some of his photos from his hometown Lincoln Heights, Ohio with Digital Diaspora […]

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Photograph of seven adults and one child. The adults sit on chairs

My Grandfather The War Hero

Albert Sidney Johnson (1880 – 1947) was born in Lexington Virginia, the eldest of five children. Both of his parents had been born into slavery. His father, James, worked as a cook at the Virginia Military Institute; while his mother, Emma, worked as a housekeeper at Washington College. Al attended primary school for only four years before […]

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