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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Rest In Peace Calvin Hicks

Calvin Hicks, a photographer who documented the nuances of daily African American life in Los Angeles and co-founded an association and gallery to preserve and display the work of black photographers, died May 20 at Ronald Reagan-UCLA Medical Center after a long battle with cancer, said his friend B. Scottye Price. He was 71.

When he struggled to find a space to exhibit his photographs, Hicks co-founded Black Gallery in 1984 in the old Santa Barbara Plaza in Baldwin Hills.

"If you were a person of color, you weren't getting very many shows in the area. We took it upon ourselves to do that," said Donald Bernard, one of the gallery's four founders.

At the time, Black Gallery was "the only option around" that would stage shows by African American photographers, Bernard said. The gallery remained open until 1998.

In 1984, Hicks also helped found the Black Photographers of California, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and presenting images by the state's African American photographers. The group's archives and 500 photographs by Hicks are now part of an extensive collection of work by African American photographers at Cal State University Northridge's Institute for Arts and Media.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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