Yale Filmmaker Discusses Power of Family Photos in Black History Month Film Series

February 22, 2022

There was never a question for photographer and filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris that family, history, and photography were all tangled together, forming deep roots that revealed the truth about time, place, and identity. Legendary Harlem photographer James Van Der Zee took photos of Harris’ grandparents that hung in his living room. Harris’ grandfather, an amateur photographer, compiled thousands of slides and Super 8 video that captured not only immediate family members, but his church family, Harlem, and his neighborhood in the Bronx. Harris, who is a senior lecturer in African American Studies and Film and Media Studies at Yale, spent his childhood looking at these images and listening to his grandfather’s stories.

External link: