Friday, December 9, 2011

Eugene B. Redmond: A Human Vertex

By Cindy Lyles

In mathematics, vertex typically means a corner or a point where lines meet. The term most commonly elaborates on polygonal figures and shapes; rarely does it exemplify a person. It is, however, the most fitting word to describe Eugene B. Redmond while browsing through Lovejoy Library’s EBR African American Cultural Life Digital Collection.

Browsing Redmond’s expansive archive of pictures presents, in one place, many artists, cultural figures, and intellectuals at different events in a multitude of settings. While navigating through the site by one of four search fields — subjects, cities, people, or events, — one finds herself astounded by just how much Redmond has captured through his photographs. Even more amazing is that this vast array of topics congregates through the work of one individual.

Professor emeritus, poet laureate, activist, and playwright constitute some roles Redmond has played. His photography adds to this list making him a cultural historian and human vertex connecting several people, places, and events undeniably integral to and demonstrative of African American cultural life. This digital collection reflects the mathematics of the man; through the one, many meet.

Related: The EBR Digital Collection

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