Aaron Bryant on History, Democracy and African Americans as Photography Subjects
Aaron Bryant, the curator of Photography, Visual Culture, and Contemporary History at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, talks to NPR about contextualizing photographs to provide untold stories whenever possible:
GLADYS BENTLEY (circa 1940)
Aaron Bryant, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, on the story of this photo:
“She was a performer during the Harlem Renaissance. Miss Bentley performed in drag. She performed as a drag king, so she wore, you know, a tuxedo.
“She had dancing girls who were actually men in drag. And so, you know, even during the 1920s, you had someone who was really pushing the envelope on gender identity and sexual orientation. And what it meant to be a man or woman. And how she shows us a very different kind of Harlem.”
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