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Photography through the African American Lens

February 25, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm
University Library - Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room

Join us as we view African American life from both sides of the camera. Presentations illustrate the topic from past, present, and future perspectives. Our panel of Los Angeles photographers include Ian Foxx (iFoxx Media Group), Roderick Lyons (professor, Los Angeles Valley College), and Malcolm Ali (photojournalist) who respectively address photographing the African American community, Black Fine Art photography, and building diversity in the photographic arts.

Light refreshments will be served.


About our Presenters

Ian Foxx

Ian Foxx
Ian Foxx

A native of Detroit, Ian Foxx celebrates 50 years in the Entertainment industry. Ian began his professional career in New York City at the Shakespeare Public Theater and later as Managing Producer for the Family Repertory Company which toured theaters, television stations, and schools on the East Coast. Upon arriving in Seattle, he formed Foxx Follies Productions that toured the west coast performing his original material.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, Foxx worked closely with Inner City Cultural Center, Ebony Showcase Theatre, and the Los Angeles Actors Theatre where he and mentor, Rafic Bey, founded the non-profit organization, The Foxx Follies Theatre Workshop in 1979 in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles training youth in all aspects of theater production. Soon thereafter, he collaborated with author Herbert Simmons on a television pilot of the novel “Corner Boy”, a story of inner-city Black America.

In 1998, Foxx served as staff photographer for L.A. Watts Times over the next decade where he would meet legendary photographer Bill Jones. As a freelance photojournalist, Foxx produced photos for numerous publications including Los Angeles Times, Jet, and Ebony Magazine while continuing to produce short films and documentaries. In 2009, Foxx became owner and manager of Foxx Studios, providing photographic and video services. Most recently, he published “Heroes and Legends Awards” a photographic memoir containing 28 years of celebrity and community event photographs.

Roderick Lyons

Malcolm Ali
Roderick Lyons

Rod Lyons’ journey to fine art photography has been anything but traditional. A Los Angeles native he began his photography career more than 40 years ago in the United States Air Force.

In 1978, Lyons graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism. Twenty years later he returned to the university to pursue an MFA in fine art photography. After years of producing work in the fine art genre, he discovered his second calling as a teacher of photography in 1993. As stated by Lyons, “Teaching has been a godsend for me. It put me in a position where I am expected to produce work, and yet I am able to help young people start their photographic journey—the best of two worlds.”

Lyons has had his photographs published in several publications including Los Angeles Times, Lenswork, and Black and White Magazine. His work has also been accessioned in numerous public and private collections including the California African American Museum of Art and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Lyons is currently Professor of Photography at Los Angeles Valley College in Southern California.

Malcolm Ali

Malcolm Ali
Malcolm Ali

Malcolm Ali has been a professional photographer for over 40 years beginning in 1979. His studies have taken him to multiple institutions on both coasts including the New York Institute of Photography, Los Angeles City College, and the Allens School of photography in Los Angeles.

As a photographer, Ali has traveled the world over, capturing such events as the Million Man March, the O.J. Simpson trial, and professional boxing matches. He has worked as staff photographer for Wireimage of Getty Images photographing celebrities and events such as the Grammys and Soul Train Awards. In addition, he provides photography services for weddings, parties and more.

Ali’s photographs have appeared in publications of national scale including, Time Magazine, Life Magazine, and Rolling Stone, as well as such newspapers as the Herald-Dispatch, Los Angeles Sentinel, and Final Call.

Ali has spent much of his career as an advocate and mentor for young photographers across the nation and beyond.

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Assistive Services

Requests for accommodation services (e.g., sign language interpreters or transcribers) must be made at least five (5) business days in advance. Please e-mail in advance of the event.