2021-2023 CAAAP Officers

Kaye Cooksey - President
Abena Sharon Dale - Vice President
Sonja Hughes - Treasurer
Bernard Brown - Sergeant of Arms

2020 News & Events

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Attention CAAAP Members:

All updates, photos and corrections to this website should be sent to:

The website is updated within a few days of the 1st and 15th of every month. All other CAAAP news or business (financial or otherwise) should be sent to CAAAP :
WebSite Updates and Information

Every member must have a bio and a self photo submitted to CAAAP. If you submit images without your bio, your images will not be displayed on this website. All images submitted should be titled. For more information on submitting images please go to our MEMBERS ONLY page.
The email address to submit images for image review is:


Cover photo by Bob Black

In March of 1999, on a cold winters day, seven Chicago photographers; Leslie Adkins, Bob Black, Martha Brock, Milbert Brown, Terry Harris, Brent Jones, and Lee Landry organized and founded The Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers (CAAAP). The idea behind CAAAP was to do something that had never been done in the African-American community. The director, Milbert O. Brown, Jr., set out to assemble some of the nation's best photographers for a photographic project that was to become known as, "The Journey".

Those members with just a year or less in membership that want to be credentialed members of CAAAP, we have created the CAAAP Gateway and Credential Facebook Page for you to post and display your work over the year. We eliminated portfolio reviews and this is one of our ways to determine who our credentialed members will be. We will be looking at your work that you have posted this past year. If you are a new member and you have not been invited to the page to post your work please contact the secretary.

"Experience will Show You.
A Master can only Point the Way."

~ Ancient Egyptian Proverb
Thank you for your participation and committment to our organization.

What are your photographic goals for 2022?
What are you doing to increases your photography business?
Hey...can't make a photography gig due to unforeseen circumstances?..RECOMMEND A FELLOW CAAAP MEMBER!

LET US HEAR FROM all of our members on our FACEBOOK Page (closed group Facebook page for members only)!

African American Photographers
To Know

The writers of Vantage Internet Magazine (We are fans of photography ) a great compilation of current African American Photographers world wide. Click on the logo below.

Visit the SouthSide Community Art Center
3831 South Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
Wed. - Fri. 12pm - 5pm
Sat. 9am - 5pm
Sun. 1pm - 5pm
Closed Mon. & Tues.
For more information please call (773) 373-1026
or visit the website SSCAC

Intimate Photos Show the Power of the African American Museum

National Geographic photographer Ruddy Roye captured meaningful moments during the opening of the long-awaited museum. Visit the National Geographic site.

America in the 1970s: Chicago's African-American Community
(John H. White/National Archives and Records Administration)
John H. White/National Archives and Records Administration

John H. White documents Chicago's African-American community in the 1970's. John (a CAAAP member) who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism in 1982. John landed a job with the Chicago Sun Times in 1978, and continued to work there until May of 2013, when the newspaper laid off its entire photojournalism department. His portraits of everyday life stand the test of time, inviting the viewer to travel back a few decades, and see just how we lived.

In Focus with Alan Taylor

CRITIQUING: GIVING AND RECEIVNG One of the best ways to improve as a photographer is frequent critiquing, giving it as well as and receiving it. Visit our Education and Networking page on how to give and receive good a critique. Education and Networking

African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition

The Paris Exposition of 1900 included a display devoted to the history and "present conditions" of African Americans. W.E.B. Du Bois and special agent Thomas J. Calloway spearheaded the planning, collection and installation of the exhibit materials, which included 500 photographs. The Library of Congress holds approximately 220 mounted photographs reportedly displayed in the exhibition (LOTs11293-11308). View these beautiful prints archived and on displayed at the library of congress: African American Photographs for 1900 Paris - Library of Congress.


The Artist's Odyssey By Curtis J. Kojo Morrow
CAAAP member Curtis J. "Kojo" Morrow has lead an amazing life as a photographer, an artist, a writer and even a jeweler.

The Artist's Odyssey

"My Odyssey begins with family and well-wishers expressing their opinions about what I could not do. When asked why their response was simply "because you are African American and African American's just don't do those things." Well, so far I have accomplished everything that I set out to do in my exciting epic journey. For details of my Odyssey, visit the online website below: Now, after thirty-five years of World Travels, Jewelry Designing, and Lost Wax Casting, I have returned to my first love, oil painting, and freelance photography. This paperback version of the "Artist's Odyssey" contains 180 + pages of Arts and Travels, Photos from 1966 to the present date 2017. A few photos may appear a little blurred due to age, but it's the Odyssey Journey that I wish to share. ENJOY and SHARE."

You can purchase his book, The Artist's Odyssey on Amazon here.

Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture Through a rich interpretation of the remarkable photographs W. E. B. Du Bois compiled for the American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition, Shawn Michelle Smith reveals the visual dimension of the color line that Du Bois famously called "the problem of the twentieth century." Du Bois's prize-winning exhibit consisted of three albums together containing 363 black-and-white photographs, mostly of middle-class African Americans from Atlanta and other parts of Georgia. Smith provides an extensive analysis of the images, the antiracist message Du Bois conveyed by collecting and displaying them, and their connection to his critical thought. You can purchase this book at

The Self in Black and White: Race and Subjectivity in Postwar American Photography (Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture) The Self in Black and White is a fascinating and original study of the ways in which notions about race and the self were formed, perpetuated, and contested in American photography during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, with an emphasis on images of the civil rights movement and the War on Poverty. Author Erina Duganne opens with a discussion of the Kamoinge Workshop, an African American photographers' collective from the 1960s. The Self in Black and White is a compelling interdisciplinary consideration of the eye behind the camera and the formative power it wields.

Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present by Deborah Willis, demands to be included in every American family's library as an essential part of our heritage.

Reflections in Black is the first comprehensive history of black photographers. Featuring the work of undisputed masters such as James VanDerZee, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems among dozens of others, this book is a refutation of the gross caricature of black life that many mainstream photographers have manifested by continually emphasizing poverty over family, despair over hope. You can purchase this book at

Do you seriously believe that just because you have the word COPYRIGHT on your images in big bold pretty letters that your images are not at risk. Perhaps you think you don't need model releases...HA! You need to get and read Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age (Lark Photography Book) [Paperback]

Now more than ever, anyone who wants to make money with a digital camera needs this authoritative and approachable guide. Written by the president of the Professional Photographers of America, and a leading New York copyright attorney, it provides photographers and visual artists with the most authoritative legal advice available. Everything is covered, from contracts, subcontracts, releases, and permissions to the copyright laws and all the steps artists should take to register and protect their work. Find out how to use copyright to protect your work from infringement, insure you are properly paid for your work, and how to proceed if your rights are infringed upon.
Purchase this book from

Through A Lens Darkly

Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People is a two-hour film that will explore the role of photography, since its rudimentary beginnings in the 1840s, in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present.
Visit our Education and Network Page to view the trailer

Check out this excellent write up by By Ken Ilio from the Chicago Photography Examiner on the photography exhibition at the Woodson Regional Library showcasing the works of members of the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers.
Thanks Ken!

How well do you know the basic terms and elelments of photography? Take CAAAP basic Photography Quiz. The answers can be found on our Education and Networking page of this website.


Photo by Derick Triplett

Who We Are

We are the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers. Founded by Leslie Adkins, Bob Black, Martha Brock, Milbert O. Brown Jr., Terry Harris, Brent Jones and Lee Landry in March of 1999. Our mission is to photographically document the culture and history of the African-American/African communities in both the Greater Chicago area and throughout the world, as well as providing ongoing education for anyone interested in photography.
We meet the third Sunday of every month at the South Side Community Art Center 3831 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL from 2 pm until 4 pm (unless otherwise noted). We discuss, learn, and explore photography. We also provide a working network for its membership. CAAAP is a non-profit organization, and membership is open to all beginners, amateurs, and professionals. This site contains information about our organization, meetings, award-winning photography of our members, and more.

Read more about Who We Are


We Remember, and we reflect...

2020 has been a year of transition and change, not only for the world but for our organization as well. The Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers lost four photographers within nine months. Derick Triplett - October 25, 2019, Levilyn Chriss - April 1, 2020, Ralph Putnam - April 2, 2020, Philemon Najieb - April 15, 2020. We would like to share some of our memories and as well as thier stories with you. Ralph Putnam had been with CAAAP for only a short time, and we will be sharing his story, reflections, and photo at a later date.

Derick Triplett dtriplett2

By Kaye Cooksey

Derick Triplett captured his love for photography as a teenager, photographing people, places, things, and before the camera phone era of selfies. He joined CAAAP IN 2015. This self-taught photographer was initially educated by photographer Worsum Robinson. When Derick joined CAAAP he was on fire with enthusiasm about his love of photography. Read more

Philemon Najieb


By Milbert O. Brown

...during the daybreak of a new morning, my friend, Philemon Najieb went home to be with the Lord. My friend and our friend was a victim of Chicago's coronavirus. Unknown to some--Najieb was one of Black Chicago's most impactful photographers and filmmakers for over four decades.
He was one of the charter members of the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers and served the organization as one of the first vice presidents.
Read more

Levilyn Chriss

Levilynn Chriss

By Sonja Hughes

Levilyn Chriss started her studies at Kennedy King College where she received her Associate degree in Applied Science in Media Communications. Kennedy King allowed her to build a solid interest in video production, television production, and photography.
Read More

Eight Month Old Zara Biddle Reaches For The Camera.
Image by Michael Bracey Four Year Old Shanel Crawford-Anticipates A Swimming Polar Bear at the Brookfield Zoo - 
Image by Michael Bracey
Terrance Blount Reads From His iPad At The July CAAAP Meeting - 
Image by Michael Bracey
Three Sisters - Image by Isadore Howard Two Mothers - Image by Isadore Howard
Village Girl -
Image by Isadore Howard Juggling Women - Image by Isadore Howard Market Women - Image by Isadore Howard Merchant Queen - Image by Isadore Howard Mother and Child Wash Day  - Image by Isadore Howard Brothers in Arms - Image by Isadore Howard Nite Lite - Image by Isadore Howard The Bath - Image by Isadore Howard Transport on Togo Lake - Image by Isadore Howard Self Photograph
Image By Curtis Kojo Morrow Veterans Jesse White and Fellow Veterans - 
Image By Curtis Kojo Morrow Veterans meeting With the Jesse White - 
Image By Curtis Kojo Morrow Man Speaking - 
Image By Curtis Kojo Morrow
Bass of the KCR Ensemble - 
Image by Chandra Abernathy
KCR Ensemble Vocals - 
Image by Chandra Abernathy Clarinet Sounds of the KCR Ensemble - 
Image by Chandra Abernathy Purple Reigns - 
Image by Chandra Abernathy Sax of the KCR Ensemble - 
Image by Chandra Abernathy Shout It Out - 
Image by Chandra Abernathy Raise To Unity - 
Image by Chandra Abernathy
Express Yourself Image by Chandra Abernathy The Emotions - On Key
Image by Chandra Abernathy
The Emotions - Hitting The Note
Image by Chandra Abernathy
The Emotions - In The Groove
Image by Chandra Abernathy
Image By Sonja Hughes
Image By Sonja Hughes
Image By Sonja Hughes
50th-Birthday-Celebration Painting-Party
Bronzeville In Your Neighborhood-Jesse White and Rev. Leon Finney - Image by Cynthia Anderson
Bronzeville In Your Neighborhood-Supporters -  Image by Cynthia Anderson

Bronzeville In Your Neighborhood-The South Shore Drill Team. Image by Cynthia Anderson Bronzeville In Your Neighborhood-Jesse White and The Jesse White-Tumblers - Image by Cynthia
 Anderson Bronzeville In Your Neighborhood-The South Shore Drill Team. 
Image by Cynthia Anderson
Maggie Brown - QCDC Gala.
Image by Kaye Cooksey
Val Warner At The QCDC Gala.
Image by Kaye Cooksey
Dancing In The Streets.
Image by Kaye Cooksey Iona School of Ballet QCDC-Gala.
Image by Kaye Cooksey Let Me See Your Phone!
2016 Bronzeville Nights.
Image by Kaye Cooksey People Listening to The Forum History on 47th Street.
Image by Kaye Cooksey Inside The Forum On 47th 
Image by Kaye Cooksey Strike - Image Foster Garvin It Is Gone  - Image Foster Garvin Batcatcher - Image Foster Garvin Man In Wheelchair In The Street - Image Foster Garvin
Child-On-Bike-With-Policeman Children With Policeman  - Image Foster Garvin
Flint Michigan-Receiving Church
A Flint Michigan Home.
Image by Foster Garvin Flint Michigan-Child Waiting For Water.
Image by Foster Garvin Flint Michigan-The Water Tester.
Image by Foster Garvin Flint Michigan-Volunteers Riding Shotgun.
Image by Foster Garvin Flint Michigan-Unloading Water
Image by Foster Garvin Flint Michigan-Volunteer GoingDoor To Door With Water.
Image by Foster Garvin Flint Michigan-Resident Receiving Water.
Image by Foster Garvin
Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers   2016
visual light by v6.0m
What are we shooting? Click on the CAAAP logo above to view our images.

Aldermen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis at Chicago State -
Image by Philemon Najieb Fire Scene -
Image by Philemon Najieb Musician Drums -
Image by Philemon Najieb Listening -
Image by Philemon Najieb Musician -
Image by Philemon Najieb Chicago State Press Conference -
Image by Philemon Najieb A Man Casting His Line Not Far From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Image by Michael Bracey
A Mural Featuring the Face of an African American Man Highlighted As A Jogger and Bikers Ride Past.
Image by Michael Bracey


CAAAP President Farrad Ali and Bernard Brown Philemon Najieb Bob Black CAAAP members at the Gordon Parks Exhibition in Chicago CAAAP VP Foster Garvin and Terrence Blount Michael Bracey at the Gordon Parks Museum Michael Bracey at the Gordon Parks Museum 2 CAAAP 2016

CAAAP VP Foster Garvin and Arlene Reynolds Louis Byrd IIICurtis Kojo Morris 2 Curtis Kojo Morris Bill Neal Terrence Blount Chris Vaughn CAAAP VP Foster Garvin and CAAAP Secretary Abena Sharon Bill Neal and Cynthia Evans Anderson CAAAP 2014 Executive Director of the SSCAC Masequa Myers Farrad Ali Masequa Myers Foster Garvin 2 Farrad Ali Masequa Myers Foster Garvin Masequa Myers Javet Kimble visual light by v6.0m

Click on the image above to start the slide show!