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This “Humanities on the Road” episode features University of Pittsburgh professor Laurence Glasco, Ph.D., presenting the work of Charles “Teenie” Harris, a photographer who chronicled the events and daily lives of African-Americans for one of the nation’s most influential Black newspapers, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New Pittsburgh Courier.
Glasco’s talk, entitled “Teenie Harris and Black Pittsburgh, 1940–1970: An American Story,” will focus on the variety of positive images portrayed in Harris’s photos of the 1940s and 1950s, which capture the subjects’ patriotism, optimism, stylishness, and sense of self-worth. Glasco will contrast these with other Harris images of protest and demonstration that dominated the 1960s.
The program is free and open to the public; while no reservations are needed, space is limited to 180 people, so potential audience members should arrive early. A question-and-answer segment will follow the talk. Portions of the Q&A will be included in the broadcast of the program to 3.3 million households in the fall. Glasco is associate professor of history and director of the program for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in World Perspective at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a frequent collaborator with the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive at Carnegie Museum of Art.
Charles “Teenie” Harris archive
Since 2001, Carnegie Museum of Art has been the home to the Harris archive of nearly 80,000 photographic negatives, few of which are titled and dated. The archive, a richly detailed record of public personalities and events, and of the daily lives of average people, is considered one of the most important documentations of 20th-century African-American life. Since 2003, the museum has scanned and cataloged nearly 60,000 images, many of which are available on the online collection database, www.cmoa.org/teenie.
Through outreach efforts, lectures and special events, and three Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive Project exhibitions (in 2003, 2006, and 2009), the museum has asked for assistance in identifying the people, places, and events in the images. So far, 2,000 images have been positively identified with help from the community. As caretaker of the archive, the museum is committed to providing access to these images as an invaluable historical and educational resource.
“Humanities on the Road”
A new television series that showcases humanities presentations at select sites across Pennsylvania, “Humanities on the Road “features interactive presentations on topics ranging from Nancy Drew to African- American folk traditions to John Updike to Pennsylvania German culture. Filmed in front of a live audience at different venues, each episode shines a spotlight on some of the state’s most intriguing cultural landmarks and communities. The program is broadcast on PCN, Pennsylvania’s version of C-SPAN. PCN provides live unedited coverage of state government and original programming.
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