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THE SELFIE—Mentor Kenneth Neely taking a selfie with Dorian Epps, Sovren Gray, Foster Owens, George B. Robinson, Elijah Steave and Richard W. Taylor Jr.

On Aug. 17, at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation presented “A Life Through My Lens.” This free event showcased the work of six African-American males, ages 15 to 17, who were chosen to take part in a 10-week program presented by the organization and funded by Heinz Endowments.

Each program scholar photographed an African-American male he considered a positive role model. The event included a gallery-style presentation of their work, formal recognition of scholars, and an introduction of their mentors and program staff.

Roxanne’s Catering served hors d’oeuvres and desserts, while saxophonist extraordinaire Calvin Stemley provided the sound track.

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RICHARD W TAYLOR JR. with dad, Richard W. Taylor

The program for high school males, in its second year, helps them understand the power of photography and its role in Black male imaging.

Program scholars met each Saturday morning at Point Park University for 10 weeks through June, July and August to learn the basics of photography from mentor-instructors.

This year, special lectures included presentations on weddings, nature, sports, fashion and crime scene photography. Participants also studied the work of famous African-American photographers, had lively discussions about photojournalism and did field shooting. Their capstone project was to create a three-image photo essay for exhibition. The exhibit featured each scholar’s favorite photograph from his work during the program.

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