The late Rudy Smith spent more than half a century documenting the Black experience through his award-winning photojournalism. Most of his work was for the Omaha World-Herald, where he was a staff photographer and one of the paper’s first Black newsroom professionals. He also shot for The Omaha Star and some national publications. Smith photographed all manner of subjects, but took particular interest in representing his own Black community. Smith was a civil rights activist before taking up a camera and his support for social justice never stopped. That meant walking a fine line between advocacy and objective journalism. Always the consummate pro, he never crossed that line.
A book of his Omaha Black community images was published shortly after his death in 2019. On Sunday Dec. 13 at 4 p.m., a one-day-only live exhibit and panel discussion of his work will contextualize the impact Smith and his work made as part of O-pa’s “Voices AMPLIFIED!” series.
Moderator Deb Bunting will examine Smith’s work with Kristine Gerber, who edited the book, and former Omaha educator and columnist Janice Gilmore. Links are available one week prior to the event at o-pa-.org.