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Bud Dorsey's Louisville: African American Life Through the Years

Tuesday, February 12, 2019: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Venue: The Filson Historical Society

Add To Calendar   12/02/2019 18:00:00 12/02/2019 19:00:00 America/Atikokan Bud Dorsey's Louisville: African American Life Through the Years Tuesday, February 12, 6:00-7:00 p.m. | Bud Dorsey will talk about his experiences photographing African American life in Louisville The Filson Historical Society, 1310 South 3rd Street, Louisville, Kentucky, 40208 The Filson Historical Society info@filsonhistorical.org false DD/MM/YYYY


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Bud Dorsey has dedicated over 50 years to documenting life Louisville, especially the experiences of African Americans. He spent fifteen years as a freelancer (JET, Ebony, the Courier-Journal, the Louisville Defender, etc.) and 20+ years as the sole full-time staff photographer for the Louisville Defender, and since his retirement in 2002, he has continued to take photographs every day. His photographs show us life in Louisville as many of us have never seen it before. Mr. Dorsey teaches us how to look at our community: with love, curiosity, respect, nuance, concern, playfulness, hope, heartbreak, and pride. Considered collectively, his photographs are a love letter to Louisville, crafted outside of mainstream arts and media worlds over the course of decades by a man who cares and has always there to bear witness. This video is an introduction to Mr. Dorsey and his work. As a young boy, Bud Dorsey studied the photographs in the Louisville Defender and Courier-Journal newspapers and began dreaming of one day getting photographs of his own in print. Then a family member gave him his first camera, and he began learning through trial and error and by persuading local photographers to give him tutorials.  Upon graduating from Shawnee High School and serving in the Navy, Dorsey returned home and took a job at American Synthetic Rubber Company in 1964. For seventeen years, he worked at American Synthetic while taking photographs on the side and selling images to the Defender and the Courier-Journal and later to national publications such as the iconic Jet magazine. His photos of Louisville models were chosen as centerfolds for about a dozen issues of Jet.  After American Synthetic’s mass layoffs in 1981, Bud joined the staff of the Defender as its sole full-time photojournalist. Now able to be out documenting the community he cared about so deeply on a full-time basis, he became more prolific than ever. In the 20+ years Bud held that position, no one documented life in Louisville--especially within the Black community--more richly than he did. He did it all with modest tools: unremarkable cameras, no lighting equipment, limited supplies of film, and a tiny, simple darkroom, He retired as one of the longest-tenured staff photographers in the storied history of the Defender.
Bud Dorsey's Louisville: African American Life Through the Years

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