The Oakland Flats
Photographs: Wandering with Kids Through Their World, not my Own
by Arnold Clayton Henderson
In these photographs and writings, a white photographer plunges into the Oakland, California, ghetto and becomes acquainted with black children and their exploration of their surroundings. The time is the 1960s, and the very streets of the rising Black Panthers, yet the photographs capture not politics directly, but the urban images that shape these children as they grow.
Arnold Clayton Henderson has been, at various stages in his career, university teacher of medieval literature, poet, photographer, editor, and environmental commissioner. He has a special interest in the interplay of poetic text and photographs, the one never simply repeating the other, but adding. His photographs are held by the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, the Architectural Museum in Ljubljana (Slovenia), MIT, and private collections. They have been published in such art and photography journals as Aperture (U.S.), Camera (Switzerland), Foto (Belgium), Structurist (Canada), etc., and in books from the Paris-based international traveling exhibits Fantastic Photography and Le Nouveau nu. His studies of medieval literature have been published in PMLA and elsewhere.