Henry Clay Anderson ran the Anderson Photo Service in Greenville, Mississippi from the late 1940s to the '60s, and during that time every aspect of African-American life came before his lens. Though highly segregated, Greenville was the site of a thriving middle-class, African-American community—an aspect of American life that is all-too-rarely documented. Pictured is a happy, newly married couple -- along with some interesting bits of marginalia. The fan used to cool off the sitters is clearly visible at right (as well as the floral-print-wearing woman holding it). And the bridecake rests on an imperfectly arranged doily. Such details, though they might have detracted from a the formality of the portrait at the time (indeed, the right margin would most certainly have been cropped by a mat or frame or Anderson himself) offer us an invaluable glimpse into the realities of life for the people of Greenville, MI.
From a portfolio of 10 prints, printed in an edition of 10, posthumously from Anderson’s original negatives by Laurent Girard. This image is #8 of 10.
This photograph is accompanied by a copy of an award-winning documentary about Mr. Anderson's photographs and the stories surrounding them: Separate, But Equal - winner of the 2011 HBO Best Documentary Film award at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (made by Shawn Wilson).
Illustrated in "Separate But Equal," PublicAffairs: New York, 2002. p. 84.
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Medium Gelatin Silver Print
Photo Date c. 1965 Print Date 2007
Dimensions 14 x 11
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Charles Schwartz Ltd.