Anthony Barboza’s professional career began in in 1968 after he completed a tour of duty in the United States Navy, where he worked as a photojournalist. When he became a member of the legendary Kamoinge Workshop, formed in 1963 to address the under-representation of black photographers in the art world, he worked with master artists, intellectuals, and photographers. Also in 1968, a group of black men—plus one woman— formed Essence Communications Inc. A momentous triangulation of the women’s liberation movement, the cultural nationalism of African American people in the United States, and a late-twentieth-century black-capitalist movement, Essence magazine was designed to direct print editorial and advertising content toward African American women. It also provided the most important platform for Anthony Barboza, enabling him to play an influential role in transforming how African American, Latin American, and African and Caribbean women and men were represented in fashion and advertising in the United States.
In this interview, we discuss such topics as how race plays a part in the fashion industry, hair styling, and working with models.