Sarah Hoskins

Sarah Hoskins received her BA from Columbia College Chicago. She is a Midwest based documentary photographer, currently her time is split between Chicago and Lexington. She is currently working on an edit of 250 gelatin silver prints which will be archived along with her negatives and oral histories at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Libraries at Duke University. Sarah’s project The Homeplace received a White House News Photographers Association award in March 2011. The piece ran on NPR’s Weekend Edition as well as NPR’s Picture Show in the spring of 2010. Her photographs have been included in over 100 exhibitions and are in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress, Museum of Fine Arts Houston and more. In 2009 she received funding for her Homeplace project from The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Alice Rosenwald Flexible Fund for Rosenwald Schools. Her work was recently renewed for the fourth time at The Museum Of Contemporary Photography’s Midwest Photographers project in Chicago. Today we share her series The Home Place.

Sarah_Hoskins_06_oThe Benevolent Sisters Their 99th Year 2004

sarah_hoskins_011_oNew Car New Zion 2010

The Homeplace

The name comes from an invitation to join the Howard family for Sunday supper at their “ Homeplace”, where generations have grown up moved away and come back to. There isn’t just one community where these images were made but many, however they all are intertwined through history, geography, friends, family and traditions which I have tried to capture these past 14 years on film.

sarah_hoskins_015_oSunday Morn 2000

classics 2012Classics 2012

I realize 14 years is a long time to work on one project and I suppose it would have been completed if the invitations or suggestions had stopped. “ Sarah daddy’s killing hogs tomorrow if you want to come.” “ I am planting my last row of tobacco next week.” “Our family reunion is the first Saturday in August. “You will be here?”

So you see how lucky am I, to have such wonderful invitations. How could I possibly turn them down? Besides I couldn’t imagine my life without the people and places I now call my second home, the Homeplace.

Sarah_Hoskins_Collection_oCollection 2004

Creek Baptisim 2012Creek Baptism 2012

Ironing CurtainsIroning Curtains 2009

Sarah_Hoskins_Leaves_and-Lewis_2005_oLeaves and Lewis 2005

Zion Hill Memorial Day March Zion Hill 2008Memorial Day March The Hlll 2008

Sarah_Hoskins_Lydia_At_100_oLydia At 100 2006

The following from Jacki Lyden NPR

“In 25 years of journalism, I’m not sure that I’ve ever done a story quite like this one. In spring of 2010, I spent four days on the road with Hoskins and in the lives of her subjects.”

“For a decade, Hoskins has returned over and over again to tiny communities, capturing change. She has, scraping together truly meager resources, told an essential part of American and African-American history. Sarah’s subjects are the descendants of freedmen and slaves. If Hoskins had not spent the last decade photographing these ‘Negro Hamlets,’ we might never have had the record of how these people moved from bondage to sharecropping to enduring Jim Crow, to becoming the proud people they are today. For Sarah to be embraced by this community took patience, ingenuity, and sincerity in addition to drive . For her to capture them in striking, haunting images also took talent. The result is that, not unlike what Robert Frank did for unseen places in ‘The Americans,’ or what Dorothea Lange did for the Dust Bowl migrants or Gordon Parks did for ‘Negro’ Pullman porters, Sarah Hoskins has done. And of course, she has not left the story with the agrarian ways of the past but moved with her subjects as they built new community halls or began food businesses or found and learned to celebrate their heritage.”

To view more of Sarah’s work please her website.