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Words & Pictures: Dr. Tanisha Ford

In conjunction with the exhibition, Tools of Revolution: Fashion Photography and Activism, Houston Center for Photography presents a lecture by Dr. Tanisha C. Ford on the under-recognized photographic work of Harlem-based, Civil Rights activist and photographer, Kwame Brathwaite. Having written extensively about Brathwaite’s work in Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019), Dr. Ford’s expertise on the artist combined with her scholarship on fashion and activism will offer our Houston community unique insight into the powerful intertwining histories of the Black Freedom movement and the rise of the global fashion industry.

Dr. Tanisha C. Ford is a foremost voice speaking on the intersection of politics and culture. She is an award-winning writer, cultural critic, and Associate Professor of Africana Studies & History at the University of Delaware. A native of a mid-sized Midwestern city most people have never heard of, Tanisha enjoys telling the histories of often-overlooked people and places. Her commitment to social justice and communities of color is evident in everything she produces. Tanisha’s work centers on social movement history, feminist issues, material culture, the built environment, black life in the Rust Belt, girlhood studies, and fashion, beauty, and body politics. She makes connections between the past and the present in ways that shed refreshing new light on contemporary cultural and political issues. Tanisha is the author of three books: the forthcoming Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion, Kwame Brathwaite: Black is Beautiful, and Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul. Her writing and cultural commentary have been featured in diverse media outlets and publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, ELLE.com, The Root, Aperture, CBSNews, WNYC, and New York City’s HOT 97.