OAK PARK — A modest group of individuals found out that everything award-winning photojournalist, producer, author Miki Turner talks about is interesting, inspirational, and also motivating.
Ms. Turner definitely uses her valuable career in journalism and photojournalism to make a difference and bring awareness to the African American community.
Ms. Turner returned to Sacramento for Women’s History Month to hold a book signing and discussion at Underground Books for her photo-literary piece, “Journey To The Woman I’ve Come to Love.”
Ms. Turner’s 196-page book, which she started taking photos on the fly” for in 2006, is an “affirmation from women who have fallen in love with themselves.”’
“This book came about because I was at the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram as a L.A. correspondent and I had pitched this idea of how different women of different cultures approach aging,” Ms. Turner said.
“I’m thinking at what point does women kind of fall in love with themselves the way they are. What I did find out was that Black women was not concerned about the aging process, particularly internally,” she added.
The subjects included in the book are celebrities Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Naomi Judd, Gladys Knight, Jennifer Lewis, Della Reese and others, It also features civil rights legends Angel Davis, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Diane Nash and Sonia Sanchez.
A talented, dynamic speaker who is knowledgeable in her fields of expertise, Ms. Turner is respectfully outspoken about many topics including the communications industry. Ms. Turner, she said, “has written for every publication under the sun.”
Ms. Turner held positions at JET magazine, ESPN, MSNBC.com, Black Entertainment Television, and several other magazines, and newspapers. She got her start working for Bob Maynard who managed the Oakland Tribune. Ms. Turner worked the NBA beat for many years with the Tribune, but later transitioned into entertainment.
“I did my best to try to encourage and increase diversity in Hollywood,” Ms. Turner said. “I would write stories about the lack of diversity all of the time and try to get people, to get inside of their consciousness, and tell them why it was needed; particularly in television. But then it got to a point where I was being too honest.”
Ms. Turner, born in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, also talked about the anatomy of Black films, actors, actresses, and the people in Hollywood who produce the products. She also mentioned why some Black films and television shows don’t have crossover appeal. Many people at the discussion agreed with her assessment when she asked for feedback.
Ms. Turner, who teaches photojournalism at the University of Southern California, is concerned about the lack of African Americans, particularly women, who are not in journalism and photojournalism today.
“That’s interesting because I bring in a lot of guest speakers to my class and I had to call as far away as Philadelphia to find a quote-unquote Black female photojournalist,” Ms. Turner said. “She said our numbers are just declining on both sides of gender line and the thing is we shoot ourselves in one way and they shoot us in another.”
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer