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Visual Highlights of Black Chicago

During World War II, millions of African-Americans left their agricultural trades in the Deep South for better paying jobs in the big cities of the North. One of the main destinations of this migration was the South Side of Chicago.

Photographer Wayne Miller, fresh from a stint as combat photographer, newly awarded Guggenheim scholarship in hand, set out to capture images of the community that emerged.

"I wanted to photograph the human condition and found my opportunities on the streets of Chicago," said Miller.

The result was a stunning compilation of over 500 photographs documenting the dreams, hopes and culture of the South Side.

Miller has hand picked 70 black and white photos for exhibition at the Center for Photography, located in North Gate Hall. Sponsored by the Graduate School of Journalism, the exhibit continues through March 16.

An opening reception and discussion with Miller will take place Thursday, Jan. 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in North Gate Hall.

Miller spent his war years as a Navy photographer covering aircraft carrier missions and was the first Western photographer to document the destruction at Hiroshima. This traumatic experience instilled in Miller a commitment to use his photography to help prevent future wars.

"I wanted to photograph mankind and explain man to man," he said.

After the Chicago project, Miller worked as a photographer for LIFE Magazine and served as associate curator of the famed 1955 "The Family of Man" exhibit at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

For information on the exhibit and reception, contact the School of Journalism at 642-3383.


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