Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

Black Photography in New Orleans 1840 & Beyond

Our people be doing it. The main floor was awash with entrancing dance. Sisters and a brother dressed in white, swirling and twirling. Synchronized. Stepping beauty. What we do when we do what we do. This was a night that brought smiles to every witness face.

Seven dancers and two drummers were doing it at Ashe Cultural Arts Center on March 30, 2023 for the opening of IN THE SPIRIT OF BLACK, which was held in the Ashe main ballroom and at Ashe PowerHouse, and documented by photographer Girard Mouton,III. This was a celebration of SEEING BLACK, an exhibition of over seventy photographs in two locations curated by Shana griffin, featuring New Orleans photographers (both domiciled and native born). Plus, Ashe served tasty treats as edible additions to the reception.

There was much to celebrate including the presence of a young man whose derby hatted portrait as a teenager was an iconic photograph by Eric Warters.

This was the second SEEING BLACK exhibition. The first program featured the work of Florestine Perrault Collins from the 1930’s, the city’s first female professional photographer who presented photographs in her home’s front room.

Self-portrait, Florestine Perrault Collins.

There is much more to come for viewing and educational purposes.