Author Archives: Charlene Foggie Barnett, Teenie Harris Archive Assistant & Oral History Coordinator

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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

Teenie Harris: Rallies & Protests


An integral part of the Civil Rights movement was the use of rallies and demonstrations. The sheer physical presence of allied individuals (both black and white) demanding the need for job opportunity, better housing, or customer fairness at department stores and restaurants was often the key turning point in achieving progress. A variety of groups ranging from the NAACP, Urban League, Black Construction Council, college students, and faith-based coalitions to the Black Berets and Black Panthers rallied in mostly peaceful and organized demonstrations, striving to have their voices heard. All endeavors were for a common cause—equality owed to people of color. Teenie Harris eloquently documented a variety of the marches in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Below are just some of the moments he captured on film.

1

Protest march with women and men holding signs for equal rights, heading toward downtown Pittsburgh, with church in background, c. 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety; Heinz Family Fund

2

Alberta Jordan Reaves and Willa Mae James protesting in front of Isaly’s, with Joel Wanzer in background, Homewood, August 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

3

Men from Local Union 178 protesting labor policy outside United Steelworkers headquarters, Commonwealth Building, Downtown, September 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

4

Men with protest signs reading “City Unfair to Employees” picketing on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh, c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

5

Protest against slum housing outside Commonwealth Savings and Loan Association, with sign reading “We’re in this fight together: NAACP, Urban League, CASH…,” c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety; Heinz Family Fund

6

Broadside for Black Panther Manifesto on trial of Bobby Seale, pasted on window in Homewood, April 1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

7

Protesters, possibly including Nate Smith on megaphone in front of others, including James McCoy, Matthew Moore Sr., Vince Matthews, Herbert Bean, Dr. Charles Greenlee, Rev. Donald McIlvane, Charles Kendall, Charles Michaels, Mike Desmond, Byrd Brown, Gabby Russell, and Pauline Hall demonstrating against discrimination at US Steel in front of Union Trust Building, Downtown, June 1966, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

8

Members of Black Berets of Homewood leading protest march against discrimination in construction jobs, Fifth Avenue, Oakland, August 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

9

Protesters, including Rev. Bill Powell, James McCoy, Mal Goode, Byrd Brown, possibly Jim Scott, and Rev. LeRoy Patrick, with signs reading: “Job opportunities for us too,” “We just want our God-given rights,” and “The soundness of our cause should prick your conscience,” outside Civic Arena, Lower Hill District, October 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

10

Jesse Jackson and group of civil rights advocates, including Bob Collins, George Simmons, Ewari [Ed] Ellis, Luther Sewell, and Clyde Jackson, preparing for press conference, March 1972, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

11

Protesters outside of U. S. Steel building, including Byrd Brown with sign reading “NAACP PGH Branch,” and Judge Henry Smith with sign reading “US Steel still has segregated facilities in 1966,” Downtown, June 1966 black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

12

Protesters including Baptist Temple Reverend J. A. Williams and woman with sandwich board reading “Protest – racial discrimination in employment breeds poverty, poverty breeds communism, this company has a discriminatory employment pattern, NAACP youth council,” c. 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

13

NAACP protesters James “Jim” McCoy and Matthew Moore, in front of Beck Shoe Store with signs inscribed “Help Mr. K. in Washington, Hurt Mr. K in Moscow,” Fifth Avenue, Downtown, December 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

14

K. Leroy Irvis and Pittsburgh Police Assistant Superintendent Lawrence J. Maloney at NAACP demonstration against employment policies, Downtown, c. 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

15

Black Monday Demonstration on behalf of Black Construction Council, Rev. Jimmy Joe Robinson preparing to lead protest march, with Ron Davenport, Norman Johnson, Rev. Bill Powell, Bill Banks, Lloyd Bell, Mike Desmond, men in hard hats, and others carrying flags with wreath wrapped around fist motif, at Freedom Corner with St. Benedict the Moor church in background, September 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

16

Crowd, including nuns and clergy, in Point State Park with stairs in background, possibly during Black Construction Coalition protest, c. 1965–1975, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

17

Men from McKees Rocks throwing mock casket with signs reading “For Immediate Action Keep Your Local Community Program Alive,” into river for protest against cutbacks of poverty program, the Point, Downtown, January 1967, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

18

Men protesting, including Henry Smith, Mal Goode, Byrd Brown, and Boyd L. Wilson, outside of Woolworth’s, carrying sign reading “The Battle for Civil Rights is not only a Negro Problem, but the Concern of all Good Americans,” Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue, Downtown, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

19

Women, including Marva Jo Hord (Harris), protesting outside of Woolworth’s carrying signs reading “A protest against this co. policy in the south,” “Chatham students protest civil rights violation,” and “Chatham students protest Woolworth lunch counter segregation,” Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue, Downtown, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

20

Dr. T.R.M. Howard standing behind podium on stage at Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Hall, with full audience, seen from above, for NAACP protest rally, October 1955, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

21

Large group of men and women standing on sidewalks in front of United States Post Office building, some carrying signs inscribed “ADA says now” and “Western Pennsylvania Marches for Jobs and Freedom”, men wearing dark military uniforms on sidewalk on right, buildings in background, c. 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

 

Women of the Civil Rights Movement


In honor of Black History Month, below are some photographs of local women who aided in the struggle of Civil Rights, as seen through the lens of Charles “Teenie” Harris. In Teenie’s heyday, these ladies were quite instrumental and inspirational in the fight for racial equality. Their plight was most often displayed in a quiet yet unyielding push in education, social services, employment, charitable aid, medicine, and housing. As wives and mothers, their strength propelled them to build a better world, not only for themselves, but for the generations to come. We thank these pillars of society.

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Group portrait of NAACP workers, seated from left: Melusena Carl Whitlock, Lucy Robinson or Susan Fowler, Coretta Ogborne or Ogburn, John G. Jones, Romaine Jackson Childs; standing: Rev. Samuel L. Spear and Boyd L. Wilson, gathered around table for 1954 NAACP Membership Campaign, May 1954, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Men and women wearing name tags that read “NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference”, possibly including Peggy Lavelle standing second from left, and Alma Speed Fox seated second from right, at registration table, October 23-25, 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Louis Mason Jr. of the NAACP presenting plaque to Edward Young, Program director of KDKA, wearing eyeglasses, with inscription “Radio Station KDKA…National Association for the Advancement of Colored People”, with Rosa Parks standing between them, 1958, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Eight women, members of the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, modeling suits, left to right, seated: Barbara Pollard, Amelia Dobbs, and Barbara Alston Clark; standing: June Gibson, Patricia Yancey, Patricia Prattis, Jewel Clark Taylor, and Linda Pollard, posed for youth fashion show at Carnegie Institute of Technology, another version, June 1962, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Thelma Lovette, Andrea Williams, and Nadine Woodward, gathered at table for Sequoires Tri Hi-Y Club meeting in Centre Avenue YMCA, February 1962, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Fourteen women, including Marilyn Ware [Parker], Coretta Osbourne, Alma Speed Fox, ? Hall, and Dolores Stanton in back row, NAACP Women’s Auxiliary members, posed in interior with floral bouquet wallpaper, another version, 1967, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of Judge Henry Smith, Marion Bond Jordon, Daisy Lampkin, possibly Margie Walton, and Bishop Charles Foggie, standing in interior with vent in ceiling, c. 1945-1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Portrait of Alma Speed Fox wearing dark double breasted suit with striped scarf, leading hand on back of metal folding chair, 1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait from left: C. Dolores Tucker, Alma Speed presenting “Daisy Lampkin Award” bowl to Wilhelmina Byrd Brown, and Mary Gloster, at Women’s Auxiliary of NAACP dinner dance, Roosevelt Hotel, February 1967, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of five women, Mai Ratcliffe, Mabel Bookert, Mary Jane Page, Elizabeth Younge, and Miriam Fountain, posed behind table for initiation into Links Club, in home of Daisy Lampkin with floral wallpaper, June 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of unknown man, Marion Bond Jordon, Rev. LeRoy Patrick, and Rev. Charles Foggie at podium, on stage at Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Hall for NAACP protest rally, October 1955, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait including, seated left to right, Jessie Vann, Atty. Henry Smith, Irving Beauford, Matthew Moore, Florence J. Reizenstein, and Sylvester Anderson, standing from left to right, Louis Mason Jr., Theodore Jones, and Clarence “Larry” Huff, gathered around banquet table for the NAACP Human Rights dinner, October-November 1957, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Mary Alexander, Daisy E. Lampkin, Dorothy Height, and Mary White, gathered for Pittsburgh Council of Negro Women event at Warren Methodist Church, May 1958, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait, seated from left: Mrs. Albert Goldsmith, Florence J. Reizenstein, Mrs. O. S. Bond, Charlene Foggie, Mrs. Sari Patton, Mrs. Harold Jones, Mrs. William Frederick; standing: Mrs. J. P. Howell, Bernice Utterback, Charlotte Primas, Alma Pulliam, Mrs. B. Dykes, Mrs. William Goode, Mrs. William Morgan, Aileen Sawyer, Marion Bond Jordon, Mrs. H. Morrison, Marie Robinson, Mrs. Robert Lavelle, Hazel Garland, Mrs. LuGene Bray, Mrs. Leslie Shelton, Mrs. E. Burley, and Madeline Sharpe Foggie, gathered in garden of Jordon home, Andover Terrace, September 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

Group portrait of two men, and fifteen women, including seated: Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, second on left, Mary McLeod Bethune, center, and Jessie Vann, second from left; and standing: Wilhelmina Byrd Brown, second on left, Alma Illery, center, and Alma Polk, right, possibly at banquet for the Pittsburgh Branch of the National Council of Negro Women, c. 1949, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Heinz Family Fund

Group portrait of two men, and fifteen women, including seated: Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, second on left, Mary McLeod Bethune, center, and Jessie Vann, second from left; and standing: Wilhelmina Byrd Brown, second on left, Alma Illery, center, and Alma Polk, right, possibly at banquet for the Pittsburgh Branch of the National Council of Negro Women, c. 1949 black and white: Agfa Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

Teenie Tuesday on Facebook


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Charles “Teenie” Harris self-portrait in Harris Studio, c. 1940, black and white: Agfa Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

Don’t miss our new Facebook series, Teenie Tuesday! The Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive contains approximately 80,000 images taken by Harris throughout his stellar career. A richly detailed record of public personalities and everyday Pittsburghers, the Archive 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 our Collection Search page. Identification of this vast collection is ongoing and we are always interested in hearing your stories regarding a Teenie photograph. Through our Facebook posts, we will share what’s new with the Archive, related events, images that could use some help from the public identifying the subjects and locations, and remembrances of the people, places, and events that Teenie photographed.

Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998) chronicled the life of African Americans and other Pittsburghers through his photographic work from 1936–1975 in the nationally preeminent Black newspaper The Pittsburgh Courier. He also freelanced for the Washington D.C. news picture magazine, Flash!, and maintained a portrait studio in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Nicknamed “One Shot” because of his speed and precision capturing a moment in time, Teenie’s archive is a richly detailed record of the lives of international celebrities, sports figures, politicians, Civil Rights leaders, and local residents.

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Charles “Teenie” Harris in front of Flash circulation office, 2132 Centre Avenue, Hill District, c. 1937, gelatin silver print; Gift of the Estate of Charles “Teenie” Harris

These photos created a sense of pride, dignity and respect in the minority community. As his oldest child, Charles A. Harris, explained, “Dad’s lens offered an equal opportunity to all. Those who faced that lens had a feeling of being special. He was blessed with an uncanny instinct that brought out the emotions of those he photographed. His photographs are a testament to his artistry and his life.”

Have a question or information about a photo from the Archive? Get in touch.
Charlene Foggie Barnett, Teenie Harris Archive Assistant: foggie-barnettc@cmoa.org
Kerin Shellenbarger, Research Archivist, Teenie Harris Archive: shellenbargerk@cmoa.org

Want to order your own prints from the Teenie Harris Archive?
Photo orders may be directed to RequestAPrint online.

Need to license a Teenie Harris image for publication?
Visit Getty Images online.

—Charlene Foggie Barnett, Teenie Harris Archive Assistant & Oral History Coordinator

Teenie in Quilts


quilts

Selection of quilts inspired by Charles “Teenie” Harris’s photograph, “Boy school crossing guard holding back group of children…”

Black and white cloth. Gloves, glasses, and patrol guard belts. Children’s earnest faces. On October 17–20, 2013, the New Hazlett Theater on Pittsburgh’s North Side displayed the Nia Quilt Guild’s unique project, “A Quilter’s View of the Arts.” The event was sponsored by YMWAHA (Young Men and Women’s African Heritage Association) and the concept was for the quiltmakers to respond to challenges representing five distinct art disciplines: painting, dance, spoken word, music, and photography. The Charles “Teenie” Harris portrait (below) of a 1949 school patrol guard, on a street with outstretched arms protecting just under a dozen children, was chosen to represent the photographic arts.

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Charles “Teenie” Harris, Boy school crossing guard holding back group of children, including: Donald Christmas, Joann Collins, Elaine Robinson, Kenneth Holiday, Curtis Andrews, Beverly Myers, and Marlene Brown, on corner of Kirkpatrick and Reed Streets with A. Leo Weil School on left in background, Hill District, 1947, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

With clever flair, seven quilters captured their personal interpretation of the photo image, sewn in black, gray, and white cloth, mimicking the black and white photography Mr. Harris is best known for. On some of the works, strips of straight lines depicted the crossing guards belt and street patterns, while on others patterned swirls imitated the children’s posture and energy. One quilt even had small gloves and glasses echoing the guard’s attire. I was quite impressed with them all, but was especially drawn to the quilt of the children’s images copied onto cloth and placed in the silhouette of Teenie’s famous Speed Graphic camera, with which the photo was undoubtedly taken. As quilt artist Joyce Broadus gave me a tour of the quilts, she mentioned that using black and white cloth had been particularly challenging to the seamstresses accustomed to using more color and pattern, but that they eventually found it exciting to bring life to the static palette. I chuckled aloud, however, when informed that one quilter, who didn’t like the lack of color, sewed the back of her piece with bright red circles to depict the vitality of children, and aptly titled her creation, “Don’t Make Me Do Black and White Again!”

Photography illustrated through needle and thread is a refreshing appreciation of the Harris collection. Known for being a very down-to-earth gentleman, Teenie certainly would be thrilled that his work was characterized in such unique fashion, and in support of programs benefiting a popular subject of his lens—youngsters of color. Bravo for an exceptional exhibition!