Cover image for One shot Harris : the photographs of Charles "Teenie" Harris
One shot Harris : the photographs of Charles "Teenie" Harris
Crouch, Stanley.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, [2002]

Physical Description:
167 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 26 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR680 .C76 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



As a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the pre-eminent black newsweeklies in America, Charles H. Teenie Harris traveled the alleys, workplaces, nightclubs, and neighborhoods of his native Pittsburgh with a Speed Graphic camera in hand. His work, collected in this book for the first time, offers a rare look into the African-American community from the 1930s to the 1970s, during and after the civil rights movement. Whether backstage with Dizzy Gillespie and Lena Horne, in the dugout with Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, or on the streets of Pittsburgh's Hill District, Harris skillfully and enthusiastically documented his beloved community. His images are an important visual history of places we have seldom seen, illustrating the 20th-century black experience in a major American city. Harris's archive contains over 80,000 images in all (the entire Harris archive was recently bought by the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, and they hope to have an exhibition of his work in the future). Stanley Crouch's essay energetically ties together the disparate issues of African- American history, photography, jazz, baseball, and the history of Pittsburgh that make up Harris's work, whi

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the mid-20th century Pittsburgh in which he lived and worked, portraitist and Weegee-like street photographer Harris (1908-1998) was known as "One Shot," presumably because he rarely made his subjects, most often African-Americans, sit for retakes. This trove of 135 b&w posed and candid shots, presented by New York Daily News editorial columnist and cultural critic Crouch (The All-American Skin Game), "speak[s] of something so far the other side of alienation that all narrow images of these people-or any people-are called to the carpet." Harris photographed, among other subjects and settings, children cooling under a fire hydrant, integrated couples kissing, women icing cakes in a bakery and Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and other stars when they hit town-and in the process left a 40-year record of everyday life for many blacks in Steel City. The crispness of the images, which allows facial expressions to be read as easily as signs held by men that say "Down with Tokenism," is remarkable, as is the composition: unforced configurations of people that recall the most polished Dutch Master paintings. The images in this book were drawn from a collection of 80,000 by Harris kept under wraps by a legal battle. With their publication, a visual door has been opened onto a once-thriving world. As Crouch writes, "When you have finished with these photographs, you, too, will somehow have become a child of the Steel City, even though that era is now gone." (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved