It was a very powerful day on campus Thursday, February 8, when students and faculty members from New York City’s Satellite Academy, an alternative high school in Manhattan, came to SJSU for the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Library opening reception of Dr. Michael Cheer’s Harlem Reimagined Exhibit, a new exhibition in celebration of Black History Month.
The students were awestruck to see their photos collected together with historical items on the second-floor of the Jennifer and Philip DiNapoli Gallery.
A century after photographer James Van Der Zee began capturing images of the Harlem Renaissance, a group of SJSU photojournalism students, along with high school students from New York, set out last fall to take a fresh look at the historic neighborhood. Some of the results of their digital storytelling project, which included video interviews with Harlem shopkeepers, is on display.
“I wanted them to walk the same avenues that he did,” said Dr. Cheers, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC). Dr. Cheers organized the trip with Principal Steve Zbaida, Satellite Academy.
SJSU President Mary Papazian joined the exhibit celebration and praised the efforts by Dr. Cheers, the SJSU photojournalism students, and the faculty and students from Satellite Academy.
The SJSU photojournalism students include Payje Redmond, Savannah Harding, Lovetta Jackson and Franchesca Natividad. They were joined by SJSU alum, Jennifer Gonzalez; Larry Jackson, Boynton High School, San José; and students from both Satellite Academy and James Baldwin High School in New York.
Principle Steve Zbaida and Dr. Michael Cheers discussing the Harlem Reimagined Exhibit with Satellite Academy and SJSU Photojournalism students.
Their photos in the Harlem Reimagined Exhibit depict the changing face of Harlem, where African-American culture holds on in the face of growing gentrification.
“It’s come full circle from last October to see them installed here,” said Jelani Dixon, one of the Satellite Academy students. The photos are shown without credits, but Dixon said, “That makes it better because it shows that it was a collective effort.”
Don’t miss the Harlem Reimagined Exhibit, MLK Library 2nd floor, SJSU campus, through March 31, 2018.
Satellite Academy students experiencing the JMC TV Productions studio.
Satellite Academy faculty and students interviewed in the JMC TV Production Studio.