The famous faces of Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Muham- mad Ali, Roberto Clemente, and John F. Kennedy appear among the nearly eighty thousand photographs of Charles "Teenie" Harris (1908-1998). But it's in the images of other, ordinary people and places that Harris shows us a city and an era teeming with energy, culture, friendship, and family. In jazz clubs, Little League games, beauty contests, church functions, boxing matches, political events, protest marches, and everyday scenes, Teenie Harris captured the essence of African American life in Pittsburgh.
Harris's career began as America emerged from the Great Depression and ended after the Civil Rights Movement. As a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the nation's most influential black newspapers, Teenie hit the streets to record historic events and the people who lived them.
The archive of Harris's photography, in the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art, represents one of the most important documentations of twentieth- century African Americans and their communities. Today, Teenie Harris's photography stands alongside Harlem's famed James Van Der Zee. Yet Harris's work in Pittsburgh's Hill District surpasses that of all other photographers, for its breadth and rich portrayal of black urban America.
Published in cooperation with Carnegie Museum of Art