Historic Greats Exhibit takes Visitors on Candid Moments Tour
WASHINGTON – Scholars call him a renowned photodocumentarian. Others dub him a photojournalist, activist, historian and cinematographer. For most, he is just Roy Lewis, a quiet man armed with a camera and a shrewd eye, whose work and legacy speaks volumes of civil activism and the strength of the human spirit.
This month, "EVERYWHERE with Roy Lewis," a photo homage to black life and culture in America, is showcased at the Armour J. Blackburn University Center Gallery, located at 1397 6th St. in Northwest.
"The people on the wall are my heroes," said Lewis. " They are great people whose shoulders we stand on."
"EVERYWHERE" first debuted in 2008 in New Orleans at the Essence Music Festival, and was on exhibit at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago last year. With more than 60 historic individual images ranging from Mohammad Ali training in Zaire, Africa, for the "rumble in the jungle," to candid images of everyday people, visitors will come away with the sense that Lewis has truly been everywhere and has seen almost everything. Many of the images were also taken during the tumultuous 1960s. The exhibit also includes "DC People," a photomural of 42 images.
For Lewis, all roads lead to Howard University, where he frequents to document significant and historic events on campus. Many of those images can be seen in the gallery. The portrayal of Black scholarship and academic acumen is another element in his mission to document Black life and culture. The works featuring Howard alumni on display include poet Amiri Baraka, artist David Driskell, scholar Sterling Brown and political activist Stokely Carmichael.
Visitors, especially students, have discovered a surprisingly personal connection to "EVERYWHERE." During a recent student holiday reception at the gallery, students spent time discussing the photos of events and people that they only read about in history books or heard about from older generations.
"The word that I hear a lot around here is 'Wow,'" said Lewis. "People go through there and they find some connection to themselves or their parents."
EVERYWHERE with Roy Lewis will reside at the Blackburn Gallery until Dec 31. The showcase is free and open to the public. The Blackburn Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10 am – 10 pm. Images are also available for purchase. For purchasing information, contact Roy Lewis at 301-379-1362. For gallery information, contact Roberta McLeod at 202-806-5979.