San Jose State University Photojournalism Professor Michael Cheers was interviewed by CBS National News as the photobook “Songs of My People” celebrates its 25th anniversary. Cheers got involved in the book project in the early 1990s when he was working as a photojournalist. Watch the full interview online.
“The African-American community was not being covered fairly by mainstream media,” Cheers said in the CBS interview, “and the question is, well then, what are you going to do about it?”
He, along with a total of 50 black photojournalists, set about gathering images of that showed a broad perspective of life in African-American communities.
“We have a responsibility to argue our case for black people and the best way to argue that case for black people for us was through our art and through our camera,” he said.
Cheers’ adult daughter, also a photojournalism professor, helped to honor the anniversary of the book with an exhibit at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.