Challenging Stereotypes Through Photos MacArthur Fellow Deborah Willis has spent 30 years writing about the Black American image in photography. She explains her new photo exhibition "Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits."
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Challenging Stereotypes Through Photos

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Challenging Stereotypes Through Photos

Challenging Stereotypes Through Photos

Challenging Stereotypes Through Photos

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Gordon Parks built a reputation on his "Life" magazine photo essays. Arnold Eagle, 1945 hide caption

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Arnold Eagle, 1945

Opera singer Jessye Norman graces the cover of Willis' book. Irving Penn, 1983 hide caption

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Irving Penn, 1983

Deborah Willis has spent 30 years writing about the Black American image in photography.

In 2001, her writings won her a MacArthur Fellowship — commonly known as "the genius award."

Recently, she's been collecting historical pictures showing African-American resistance to stereotypes. The photos are on display now at the International Center of Photography in New York.

The exhibit, called "Let Your Motto Be Resistance," is named after the rallying cry of abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet, who urged slaves to emancipate themselves at the 1843 National Negro Convention.

The collection is on display until September 9.