Peterkin’s photo exhibit

Justice Betty Williams, retired, Leah Richardson co-chair, photographer Lem Peterkin, Justice Robin Shears and Attn Beverly Hadley.
Roderick Randall

Renowned photographer Lem Peterkin staged an exhibit of his work during a Black History Month event on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 at 320 Jay St. in Brooklyn, New York.

Peterkin who has been photographing special events within the Black community for more than 50 years displayed his work and spoke of his life’s mission. He spoke about the history of the photographs and said that he was working tirelessly to organize and complete an inventory of his massive collection.

He thanked Justice Williams, Judge Robin Shears, attorney Beverly Hadley, and Leah Richardson, co-chair, and also thanked Chairperson Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Dowling for her help.

Historian Dr. Glenda R. Taylor and her mother, Mary J. Taylor, both co-founders of the first virtual museum for the preservation of African American Women’s history and culture attended the event. She said when they learned of the exhibit that they knew they must attend. Over the years, they have watched Peterkin create an extensive portfolio of American history and culture, specifically historical events held in the Black community and the New York City area.

Mary J. Taylor congratulated Peterkin whom she said, “provides the most comprehensive documentation of our history since the late, James Van Der Zee (1886-1983).” The exhibit included photographs of everyone from President Barack Obama, Coretta Scott King, Nelson Mandela, Al Sharpton, Governor Cuomo, Frankie Crocker, Maya Angelou, Ken “Spider” Webb, Mayor David Dinkins, Dick Gregory, Robert Guillaume, to Chris Rock and Janet Jackson.

Dr. Taylor, a historian who studies photographs and other ephemera, agreed with her mother and said, “It was very touching. It felt like I was at a family reunion. This was my family, my African American family, and Lem was the family photographer.”

More from Around NYC