During World War II, Charles “Teenie” Harris documented thousands of African American soldiers who fought for a nation that didn’t always fight for them. Separated by years of Army service, Master Sergeant Eugene Boyer Jr. and former Staff Sergeant Lance A. Woods have selected 25 Harris images that speak to their experiences—the honor of military service, and the sacrifices that the families of service members make.
Charles “Teenie” Harris was one of the great photographers of the 20th century, and his body of work stands as one of the most detailed records of the Black urban experience. His photographs of service members, as well as of efforts on the home front, tell stories of black soldiers fighting for the American promise of civil liberties, and the opportunity for a better future.
Charles “Teenie” Harris Photographs: Service and Sacrifice is guest-curated by Eugene Boyer Jr. and Lance A. Woods, in collaboration with Dominique Luster, Teenie Harris Archivist.
About the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive
Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998) photographed Pittsburgh’s African American community from ca. 1935 to ca. 1975. His archive of more than 70,000 images is one of the most detailed and intimate records of the Black experience known today. Purchased by Carnegie Museum of Art in 2001, the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive was established to preserve Harris’s important photographic work for future generations. Thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Carnegie Museum of Art has digitized more than 70,000 of Harris’s negatives, and the collection is available to browse online.
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