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Roy DeCarava grew up in Harlem, New York, where he had access to both an older generation of Harlem artists, such as Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, and Langston Hughes, as well as younger artists, namely Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, and Romare Bearden. In 1952 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, allowing him a year’s leave from his job to photograph the streets of Harlem. In his application essay, DeCarava had expressed his desire to take photographs that communicated “the strength, wisdom, and dignity” of black people in Harlem, offering “the kind of penetrating insight and understanding” he felt only a black photographer could provide. Written two decades before the launch of The Black Photographer’s Annual, DeCarava’s vision for his own work clearly influenced the editors of the magazine, who described him as “a Giant.”
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
A Commitment to the Community: The Black Photographers Annual, Volume I, VMFA, February 16, 2017 – October 1, 2017
"Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop", VMFA, February 1, 2020 - June 14, 2020