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SMITH, Emily N

Spring 2020, 50.2, pages: 79-92

A View from the Hill: “One Shot” Harris and the Pittsburgh Courier


Charles “Teenie” Harris spent more than three decades as a staff photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, capturing through his camera lens both once-in-a-lifetime and everyday occurrences in the city. The Courier played an active role in the lives of many African Americans in Pittsburgh, promoting local and national news, sports, and entertainment that represented their communities. Using a selection of Harris’s photos, this essay begins by identifying the self-evidently political images in his oeuvre. It then theorizes what I refer to as idiomatic visual rhetorical strategies of representation that manifest in less obvious places: images of women and children whose celebrations and struggles were not likely to be publicized outside their own neighborhoods. Through the introduction of idiomatic representational strategies, this essay contributes to efforts in visual rhetorics to refine methodologies for interpreting images, and it also furthers historiographies of African American rhetorics.



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