Teenie Harris: Racial Progress


The results of the Civil Rights movement are ever evolving. It’s been a bumpy process—surges of progressive equality in one instance, met with setbacks such as assassinations, unfair imprisonment, and the silent segregation of “not separate but still not equal” pervading all areas of life. Even with a second-term African American president, our society is still working out the balance of human rights. However, much of the progress of racial harmony was evident in Teenie Harris’s lifetime, which he captured beautifully, sampled here in this week’s selections. They include positive images of racial inclusion, camaraderie, and mutual support in business alliances, entertainment, sports, pageants, organizations, and day-to-day friendships.

1914

Group portrait of basketball players wearing vertically striped socks cheering in locker room, c. 1930–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

6274

Group portrait of six beauty pageant contestants in evening gowns with sashes, including “Miss Universe Contestant”, “Miss Universe [...]yles by [...]“, [...] Coastguard Aux. No. 32″, and Miss Pittsburgh seated in center, c. 1930–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

19716

Two men, including Fred “Sir Frederick” Squires on right, standing behind group of four seated women styling hair, in interior with mermaids on wall, c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

32512

Group portrait of men and women, most wearing name tags, including woman kneeling in front row, in interior with squiggle patterned carpet, and sunburst clock on right wall, 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

42623

Group portrait of seven men, including one on right wearing dark double breasted suit with middle button fastened, moustache, and eyeglasses, posed in front of Pittsburgh Courier Newspaper offices, c. 1947, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

47843

Group portrait of three women, including two wearing fur coats, and four men, including one wearing military uniform, with Walt Harper, third from right, posed in interior with light colored walls, c. 1951, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

54954

Group portrait, front row, from left: William McCarthy, Kenneth Ott, Ernest L. Taylor, guest of honor; Henry Henderson, and Ralph Gardner; back row: David Wilson, William Thomas, Clifford Thompson, Joseph Byrne, and Bert Thompson, posed in basement for birthday testimonial in home of Mr. and Mrs. Young, 306 Chalfont Street, March 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

62121

Maida Springer Kemp standing and speaking behind head banquet table, with men seated from left: Rev. R. J. Coleman, Edward Shelton, Herbert Hill, Eric Springer, and Hugh Cleeland, at NAACP career conference, University of Pittsburgh Student Union, May 24, 1958, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

64192

Group portrait of five men, including Pittsburgh Mayor Thomas J. Gallagher, presenting framed letter to woman wearing paisley dress, in the Office of the Mayor at the City County Building, 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

64512

Group portrait of twelve men wearing bathing suits, including two on right demonstrating lifesaving maneuver, in indoor swimming pool, possibly at Centre Avenue YMCA, c. 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

68508

Group portrait of Mike Biscegila, Judy Hopson, and Verner Russell, leaning over newspaper, in interior, May 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

70211

Group portrait of man wearing African dress, and eight women, including one wearing ethnic style dress with vest, standing in center, posed in interior with patterned sofa and chair, c. 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund