i'm gettin' ready for the function at the junction

people you better come on, right now

iiiiiiiiLet me tell you about the 1993 W. Eugene Smith Grant awards ceremony. Normally, the awards ceremonies are subdued, even boring events.

iiiiiiiiWell, this night was something else! The International Center of Photography was packed!

You couldn’t get into the building.
You couldn’t get up the stairs.
You couldn’t get into the room.

iiiiiiiiI’m talking hundreds of colored people.

iiiiiiiiIt was community history, photographic history, it was a phenomenon which, to my knowledge, has never been spoken about in the photojournalistic community. Eli Reed, the winner of the 1992 Eugene Smith Award was there that night. Eli said to me, “These many people didn’t come to my ceremony.” My response was, “You didn’t invite them.”

iiiiiiiiThe legend of the evening of October 19, 1993 at the International Center of Photography in New York City lives only in New York City community lore.

© Marilyn Nance