Roy DeCarava was born December 9, 1919 in Harlem, New York. Growing up, DeCarava was frustrated with the way people of color were portrayed in photography and other media. Through his own work, DeCarava fought to address the issue of black representation in photography, capturing candid, everyday life in Harlem. Reflecting on DeCarava’s death in 2009, The New York Times described him as an “Harlem Insider Who Photographed Ordinary Life.”
The legacy that DeCarava leaves behind, however, is far from ordinary. In 1952, DeCarava became the first African American to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2006, George W. Bush presented DeCarava with the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the highest award an artist can receive from the U.S. government. His work can be viewed in museums across the country including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX. Some of DeCarava’s work can also be viewed online courtesy of the Sherry and Roy DeCarava Archives.
Come into the Schomburg to flip through Roy Decarava: A Retrospect by Peter Galassi, which features 200 of DeCarava’s photographs. While you’re there, also check out Roy Decarava: Photographs edited by James Alinder, and much more.
Rest in Power Madiba
We Demand Justice for Renisha McBride
The legacy of slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean has severely impaired our development options…These nations that have been the major producers of wealth for the European slave-owning economies entered independence with dependency straddling their economic, cultural, social and even political lives.
in his address to the First Regional Reparations Conference, held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ capital city of Kingstown…CARICOM’s September conference wasn’t a one-off. It’s part of a formal, multinational program both to raise the issue of reparations in international forums and to seek redress from European nations—England, the Netherlands and France—for the Atlantic slave trade and its enduring effects.