New Book Explores Photographer E.F. Joseph’s Photography Collection of African Americans in the Bay Area

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A photograph of E. J. Joseph hangs at Careth Reid's home in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Joseph was the first professional African-American photographer in the Bay Area and chronicled life there from 1930-1970. Reid organized his archives, and her and friend Ruth Beckford have published a book of his work which is due out next month. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

 

A new book has just come out, “The Picture Man: From the Collection of Bay Area Photographer E.F. Joseph”,  written by Ruth Beckford and Careth Reid.

 

From 1927 until his death in 1979, E.F. Joseph documented the daily lives of African Americans in the Bay Area. His images were printed in the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender but not widely published in his home community.

 

A graduate of the American School of Photograph in Illinois, Joseph photographed the everyday people and celebrities and activists such as Josephine Baker, Mahalia Jackson, Mary McLeod Bethune and Thurgood Marshall.

 

In 1980, Careth Reid purchased Joseph’s collection of negatives and personal, papers, is publishing “The Picture Man” with her longtime friend Ruth Beckford, a dancer, teacher, choreographer, actor and author.

 

The authors view their book as filling a void that the white publishers and books not covered and showing that “African American life in the Bay Area was rich and varied.”

 

The authors will speak Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m., at Marcus Books, 3900 Martin Luther King Way in Oakland.

 

“The Picture Man: From the Collection of Bay Area Photographer E.F. Joseph 1927-1927,” by Careth Reid and Ruth Beckford, Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, c. 201; $21.99.

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