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Courtesy of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


James (Jimmie) M. Mannas (b. September 15, 1941) is an American photographer, film director, cinematographer and writer. He is recognized as one of the founding fifteen members of the Kamoinge Workshop(1963), which evolved from the union of two separate groups of African American photographers who were based in New York City. His extensive body of work can be explored as individual thematic series, covering the subjects of African American New York City street life; avant-garde jazz musicians (including Marzette Watts in his Cooper Square loft); dancers; portraits; landscapes; and post-colonial Guyana.

A key feature of Mannas’ work is the political subtext of his photos, which infuses his imagery with an unspoken commentary on the circumstances of life facing black communities whether in Harlem or Guyana. Mannas captured iconic times and places which serve to document specific cultural history. Pre-1980, the majority of his photographs were shot in black and white.

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