Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Release August 27, 2014 (Limited)
Cast Lyle Ashton Harris, Thomas Allen Harris, Robin Kelly, Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weem, Deborah Willis
Director Thomas Allen Harris
Writer Thomas Allen Harris, Don Perry, Paul Carter Harrison
Genres Documentary, Family, History
Studio First Run Features
Length 90 mins.


The film explores the role of photography, since its rudimentary beginnings in the 1840s, in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present. The dramatic arch is developed as a visual narrative that flows through the past 160 years to reveal black photography as an instrument for social change, an African American point-of-view on American history, and a particularized aesthetic vision.

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