NABJ Honors Hugh Grannum with Annual Legacy Award
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 5/12/2014, 1:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 12, 2014) - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announces the selection of the late photojournalist Hugh Grannum as the recipient of the association's 2014 Legacy Award. Grannum will be honored along with NABJ's other honorees at NABJ's Salute to Excellence Gala on August 2, 2014, during NABJ's 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Boston.
"In his many years as a photographer at the Detroit Free Press, Hugh Grannum blazed a trail for African-American journalists. His work as a photojournalist helped capture the simple, yet complex, truth of his subjects. He did so, as the young people these days are fond of saying, with 'no filter,'" NABJ President Bob Butler said. "Mr. Grannum was dogged in his determination to tell good stories with his camera. His love of his work and his utter devotion to the craft made him an excellent teacher. Over the course of his career, he mentored many would-be photographers, teaching them to think of photography as honest journalism."
A self-made man, Mr. Grannum was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was a studio apprentice in New York before starting a freelance business. He began as a staff photographer at the Free Press in 1970 and retired 37 years later. Over the years, his work made quite an impact on his adopted city. Former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer praised Grannum's work at the time of his death, saying: "He had a remarkable eye behind the camera. He captured people at their best. And he had a way of establishing rapport quickly and easily with people that made you respect the work that he had to do. It was because of Hugh that I started looking under photographs in the paper to see who had taken the picture."
Grannum's work gained national acclaim, appearing in Black Enterprise, Ebony, Essence, Forbes and Jet magazines. Those who studied under Grannum said he prided himself on technical accuracy, but also on the soft skills needed to be a great photographer, those people skills, which helped him put folks at ease and facilitated his ability to do his job wherever he found himself. Other observers underscore that, had he not done the work he did, the perspective of black Detroit would never have been reflected in the mainstream media. Grannum's work has also been displayed at The Studio Museum of Harlem, the Toronto Art Gallery, DuSable Museum of African American History and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For more information, please visit www.nabj.org.