The James B. Duke
Memorial Library focused work on the Peeler Collection of photographs and negatives
and the Black Media Association video collection.
James Gibson Peeler's work as a photographer documented the
African-American population of Charlotte, North Carolina from the 1940's
through the 1990's. He documented daily life as well as significant sit-ins and
protests of the Civil Rights Movement. Peeler's subjects included residents of
Charlotte as well as figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jessie
Jackson, and Thurgood Marshall.
Archives in the Duke Library hold more than 250,000 photographs and
negatives in the Peeler Collection. There is a large demand for this collection
and now almost 3,000 of these images have been digitized and are available at
the Archives' SmugMug
The Black Media Association (BMA) was created by the Charlotte
Association of Black Journalists in 1979 and was primarily launched to study
how Blacks were being portrayed in television commercials and printed
advertisement. Johnson C. Smith
University's communication arts students partnered with the BMA in the 1980's
and 1990's to produce the "BMA Live" television show, which was intended to portray
positive images of African-Americans in
the media as counter-attack to the abundance of negative Black portrayals on
commercial television. Fifty VHS videos from this collection were digitized as
a part of the HBCU Preservation Project.