The images of 10 African American photographers, some of who shot photos in Los Angeles as far back as the late 1940s, will be featured in a new show on exhibit through April 12 at the California State University Northridge Art Galleries (CSUN).

Camera and Community features photographs by 20 photographers form the college of the CSUN Institute for Arts and media, which contains the archives of the Black Photographers of California and the Black Gallery.

“We were the only and the largest black photo gallery west of the Mississippi,” said Maxie Floyd a long time photographer who was involved in the founding and operation of the Black Gallery, and is one of the 10 African American photographers whose images will be included in the CSUN show. “When the Black Gallery existed, we were in contact with all the working (black) photographers in the city, whether they were amateur, semi-professional or professional. Every Wednesday we had a roundtable where we featured photographers and other speakers.”

The Black Gallery also featured exhibits and served as a focal point for African American photographers for almost 20 years before shutting its doors in the Santa Barbara Plaza due to redevelopment efforts in the shopping center, Floyd said.

Today the archives they amassed is housed at CSUN, and many of its images will be shown during the exhibit. “A lot of black photographers who really worked the city are in the archives,” explained Floyd. “Those pictures captured black life and are precious.”

Among the images will be one of the only white politicians to greet Martin Luther King Jr., when he came to Los Angeles–Kenneth Hahn. The subjects of the photographs range from personalities like King and Cesar Chavez to ordinary people like the grounds crew at the Enterprise School District. The geography covered by the show’s 20 photographers ranges from the San Fernando Valley in California, to the mountains of Columbia to the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico.

The African American photographers featured in the show include Harry Adams, Roland Charles, Guy Crowder, Jack Davis, Bob Douglas, Joe Flowers, Floyd, James Jeffrey, Bob Moore and Charles Williams.

The show will be accompanied by a hard-back 90-page-plus catalog.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. which will feature music by Gerald Wiggins and the CSUN Jazz Ensemble.

The main gallery is located on North University Drive, and is open Mon.-Sat. noon- 4 p.m. and Thursday noon-8 p.m. For information, contact the gallery at (818) 677-2226.