"Although the photographer Hugh Bell had been part of 'The Family of Man' exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, he later realized inclusivity went only so far when he called to pitch a story to an editor at Esquire,"David Gonzalez reported Tuesday for the New York Times' Lens Blog.
"'I had a beautiful, poetic, romantic idea,' he recalled. 'She said: "That’s great. Come up and tell me about it."'
"When he got there, the editor looked around.
"'She said, "Where's Hugh Bell?" I said, "Ah, I got it. You didn’t expect me to be a black photographer."'
"The disappointment of that painful epiphany lingered in his voice and eyes as he recounted it decades later for the documentary 'Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,' which has been well received at the Sundance Film Festival and elsewhere.
"The film, which was directed, co-written and co-produced by Thomas Allen Harris, is a sweeping narrative that traces from the 19th century to the 21st how African-Americans presented themselves in their own photos, often in stark contrast to how they were demeaned and stereotyped by the larger society. Inspired by 'Reflections in Black,' a book by Deborah Willis— one of the film’s producers — it deftly blends historical images from before and after the Civil War, with family albums and photographs by such luminaries as Gordon Parks Jr. and Carrie Mae Weems. . . ."
- Sarah Barness, Huffington Post: Striking Photos Challenge The Way We See Blackness
The number of people applying for the 12 U.S. John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford University rose from 100 last year to 139 this year, and is "one of our most diverse pools ever, with 43 percent identifying themselves as people of color and 50 percent identifying as white (7 percent declined to state),"Jim Bettinger, director of the program, wrote for the program's website on Tuesday. "Nearly two-thirds are women."
Bettinger began his message by saying, "We're constantly striving to expand the reach of the Knight Fellowships program, and the number of people applying to be fellows is one way of assessing how effective we are. The numbers this year tell us that we’re doing something right. . . ."
The ruling by a federal judge striking down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage made headlines Thursday and Friday, but less attention was given to the judge who wrote it: the first black woman to serve on the federal bench in Virginia.
In her opinion, U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, who has been on the bench for less than three years, quoted Abraham Lincoln and made reference to Virginia's onetime ban on interracial marriage.
"Tradition is revered in the Commonwealth, and often rightly so," Wright Allen wrote. "However, tradition alone cannot justify denying same-sex couples the right to marry any more than it could justify Virginia's ban on interracial marriage."
Credit Matthew Barakat of the Associated Press for providing a profile of Wright Allen, which moved Feb. 6. "The judge deciding what could become a landmark gay marriage case in Virginia defies easy characterization: She was a prosecutor, but also a public defender. She was appointed by President Barack Obama, and she also served in the military as a Navy lawyer. . . ." Barakat also noted, "She is married to Delroy Allen, a former pro soccer goalie in the old North American Soccer League. . . ."
David A. Fahrenthold of the Washington Post followed with a profile on Friday.