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The prints in this exhibit, selected from thousands of negatives accumulated over the past 30 years,

reflect his vast experience in portraiture, as the majority of the Mardi Gras images a

re portraits in context. "This type of shooting is not an easy task . . ."

 

 

Documentary Photographer J. Nash Porter

 Makes Transition to Join the Ancestors

(27 October 2007)

 

J. Nash Porter was born 24 May 1942 (died 27 October 2007)  in New Orleans and raised in an Uptown neighborhood surrounded by the sights and sounds of the urban streets. His career combines documentary and commercial photography, and photo-journalism. "Through the lens of my camera, I share with others the exciting tradition that I grew up with. Hopefully, I can ignite a spark of enthusiasm and bring about an awareness in other communities for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians," said Porter.

Formally trained at San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley, Porter has owned and operated a photography studio since 1972. Although his most prolific work is with the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians, his photographic exhibits encompass an amalgam of African American blues and jazz musicians, and traditional cultures of the American South, West Africa, and the Caribbean. The prints in this exhibit, selected from thousands of negatives accumulated over the past 30 years, reflect his vast experience in portraiture, as the majority of the Mardi Gras images are portraits in context. "This type of shooting is not an easy task, particularly during the revelry of Carnival," said Porter. "I cannot control lighting, background, movement, and atmosphere -- conveniences usually available in studio work. Framing and composition decisions must be made instantly, without delay, in the context of this colorful street theater.

Source: Mardi Gas Indian Exhibit

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Services for J. Nash Porter were held at 10a.m. Friday, November 2nd, at the Greater King David Baptist Church 222 Blount Road in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Interment will be at the US Military Cemetery at Port Hudson.

In lieu of flowers, a special J. Nash Porter Memorial Fund for Cultural Crossroads, Inc. has been established at the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.  Contributions may be sent to the bank at 8751 Siegen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70810.

A number of persons were interested in sending condolences. Those may be sent to

Dr. Joyce M. Jackson

1324 Brookhollow Lane

Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Plans are being made for a memorial service in New Orleans at this mailing no information is available. 

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Through the lens of my camera, I share with others the exciting tradition that I grew up with. Hopefully, I can ignite a spark of enthusiasm and bring about an awareness in other communities for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians.J. Nash Porter

More than illustrations that express the aesthetics and creative eye of the photographer the images are subjective interpretations of an African American folk tradition in one particular region of Louisiana.—Dr. Joyce M. Jackson

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J. Nash Porter was one of the first individual to present the Mardi Gras Indian Tradition outside of Louisiana more than 35 years ago when he was residing in California. Over the years he has documented the Indian and secondline traditions and has presented his work nationwide including a recent exhibit at the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian institution.

We spent a lot of time together on the streets on Mardi Gras day snapping photos.  Nash also had a great collection of shots that he took on his trips to Senegal. 

He and his wife/partner Dr. Joyce Jackson dedicated much of their time to the documentation and presentation of African cultural continuities in Louisiana and the U.S.

Joyce is the anthropologist/ethnomusicologist, one of the tops in her field.  She's been through a rough few months taking care of him.  Both have a special place in all our hearts because after Katrina, they took people in and provided shelter for their friends (Mona Lisa Saloy was one of those - I know you guys are friends).  To say that we owe them a debt of gratitude is an understatement.  I've known Nash since 1991 and, save for when he was out of the country, we talked once or twice a week over those years.  As my wife says, some relatives share blood but some who become more than mere relatives share . . . spirit.chuck

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For the last thirty-five years tirelessly J. Nash Porter documented the Mardi Gras Indians in their natural setting—the streets and sidewalks of New Orleans while they danced and paraded.  Nash, along with his beloved wife Dr. Joyce Marie Jackson, documented Mardi Gras traditions around the world: Trinidad, the Bahamas, Senegal, and Ghana.

He loved making connections between New Orleans and the African Diaspora, collecting bold images such as his powerful "Door of No Return." He enjoyed the opportunity for exhibits throughout the state of Louisiana, and his photographs were exhibited most recently at the Smithsonian this spring, at the Anacostia Museum. Joyce trained me in Folklore, and she and Nash put me up after Katrina displaced us. The work and legend of J. Nash Porter will live.Mona Lisa

Links for more info:

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Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

 

He’s The Prettiest

A Tribute To Big Chief Allison "Tootie" Montana's

50 Years Of Mardi Gras Indian Suiting

 By Kalamu ya Salaam

The Mardi Gras Indians are called folk artists essentially because they are self-taught, non-institution sponsored, seemingly craft-centered artisans. They have been studied but never definitively defined, documented but never successfully duplicated. Do we understand them by focusing on their hand-sewn suits or on their rituals, the skill of a particular chief at sewing, singing, or dancing--can any part be comprehended without some feel for the whole? Indeed, who and what are the Mardi Gras Indians? . . . Louisiana Folk Life    Big Chief Allison Tootie Montana

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

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#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Age of Silver: Encounters with Great Photographers

By John Loengard

Age of Silver is iconic American photographer John Loengard’s ode to the art form to which he dedicated his life. Loengard, a longtime staff photographer and editor for LIFE magazine and other publications, spent years documenting modern life for the benefit of the American public. Over the years he trained his camera on dignitaries, artists, athletes, intellectuals, blue and whitecollar workers, urban and natural landscapes, manmade objects, and people of all types engaged in the act of living. In Age of Silver, Loengard gathers his portraits of some of the most important photographers of the last half-century, including Annie Leibovitz, Ansel Adams, Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and many, many others. Loengard caught them at home and in the studio; posed portraits and candid shots of the artists at work and at rest.   Complimenting these revealing, expertly composed portraits are elegant photographs of the artists holding their favorite or most revered negatives. This extra dimension to the project offers an inside peek at the artistic process and is a stark reminder of the physicality of the photographic practice at a time before the current wave of digital dominance. There is no more honest or faithful reproduction of life existent in the world of image making than original, untouched silver negatives.   Far from an attempt to put forth a singular definition of modern photographic practice, this beautifully printed, duotone monograph instead presents evidence of the unique vision and extremely personal style of every artist pictured. Annie Leibovitz is quoted in her caption as once saying, “I am always perplexed when people say that a photograph has captured someone. A photograph is just a piece of them in a moment. It seems presumptuous to think you can get more than that.” —PowerhouseBooks

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

update 2 March 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: Ernest Withers  / Carrie Mae Weems  /  Julian Dimock  / Jerry Taliaferro  / Spring Ulmer   J. Nash Porter  / The Willie Harris Collection  /  Eugene Redmond