Over the weekend, the New York Times photojournalism blog Lens featured the work of  Kamoinge, a collective of African American artists who have been documenting the African diaspora for the last forty years through photography. Many of the photos document the daily life of black America and it’s an extraordinary look into a slice of American history.

Kamoinge was formed in 1963 to address the under-representation of black photographers in the art world. It was founded by notable African American photographers Louis Draper, Ray Francis, Herbert Randall and Albert Fennar, with Roy DeCarava serving as its first director. The word Kamoinge comes from the Kikuyu language of Kenya and means a group of people acting together.

Photos over the years range from the Civil Rights Movement and the Harlem Renaissance to artistic portraits shot inside refugee camps in Africa, and vibrant shots of musicians and athletes. It’ll be exciting to see the work of its current 24 members continue well into the 21st century.

Here are a couple of photos featured on the Lens blog from Kamoinge:

parks_lens.jpg Toni Parks. “Twins.” 1998.
barboza_lens.jpg Anthony Barboza. “Black Power.”
walker_lens.jpg Shawn Walker. Lenox Avenue and 116th Street. Harlem. Early 1960s.
cowans_lens.jpg Adger W. Cowans. “Three Shadows.” Bronx.

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