The Bigger Picture

Images can tell powerful stories. One iconic photograph can symbolize an entire era. But if we expand the frame and examine the moment in which it was taken, a very different story can emerge. In this series of documentary shorts, Harvard University historian Dr. Vincent Brown meets with curators, photographers and other experts to challenge common assumptions about iconic American images.

Major funding for THE BIGGER PICTURE was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding was provided by the Anderson Family Charitable Fund, the Tamara L. Harris Foundation, the William Talbott Hillman Foundation, the Philip and Edith Leonian Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for the digital production of THE BIGGER PICTURE was provided by Chasing the Dream – a public media initiative from The WNET Group, reporting on poverty, opportunity, and justice in America, and supported by The JPB Foundation, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim, III.

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About the Host

Vincent Brown is Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, and the co-founder of Timestamp Media. His research, writing, teaching, and other creative endeavors are focused on the political dimensions of cultural practice in the African Diaspora, with a particular emphasis on the early modern Atlantic world.

Brown is the author of numerous articles and reviews in scholarly journals; he is Principal Investigator and Curator for the animated thematic map Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761: A Cartographic Narrative (2013); he was Producer and Director of Research for the award-wining television documentary Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness (2009), broadcast nationally on season 11 of the PBS series Independent Lens; and he is the executive producer and host of THE BIGGER PICTURE, co-produced with WNET for PBS Digital Studios.

Professor Brown’s first book, The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (2008), was co-winner of the 2009 Merle Curti Award and received the 2009 James A. Rawley Prize and the 2008-09 Louis Gottschalk Prize. His most recent book is Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (2020), which was awarded eight prizes -- the Anisfield-Wolf Award, the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Harriet Tubman Prize, the James A. Rawley Prize, the P. Sterling Stuckey Prize, the Elsa Goveia Prize, the Oscar Kenshur Prize, and the Phillis Wheatley Book Award for Non-Fiction Research -- and was a finalist for five others, including the international Cundill History Prize.

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