A Portrait Photographer Defies Social Norms

Jul 23, 2014
Originally published on July 23, 2014 2:44 pm

  The late 19th century American South was marked by inequality; Jim Crow was the law of the land and racial segregation was both a social norm and a legal requirement.

But some artists and thinkers, like Durham-based photographer Hugh Mangum, worked to defy that norm. He took portrait photos of everyone—black, white, rich and poor—and he portrayed all of them with dignity. More than 600 of Hugh Mangum’s images have been salvaged and preserved at Duke University’s Rubenstein Library, and a new exhibit at the Durham History Hub shines light on a selection of his portraits that demonstrate the impact he had on the Durham Community. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with the exhibit’s curator Sarah Stacke, and Katie Spencer, executive director of The Durham History Hub.

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