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Photographer captures local photographs in book

By Kayloni Wyatt
Managing Editor
Oct. 29, 2009

Former senior photographer and director of photography for Southern Living Magazine Bruce Roberts presented his current book “Just Yesterday: North Carolina People and Places” Oct. 20 at the Mary Livermore Library.

The book contains 191 photographs that show how people in North Carolina live; it also shows historical events that took place in North Carolina.

“There was something about the qualities during that time that intrigued me,” Roberts said.

Roberts worked for various newspapers in the area.

In 1959 he joined the staff of the Charlotte Observer as a photographer. From 1963 to 1978 he worked as a freelance photographer. Many of his photographs have been featured in numerous magazines and books.

One of his photos that depicts a young African American boy sitting on the lap of his Caucasian teacher was featured in a North Carolina eighth grade history textbook.

Roberts joined Southern Living Magazine in 1978 as a staff photographer. He was the magazine’s first director of photography. He was also senior travel photographer from 1982 to 1992.

One of his favorite photographs is of a little girl at an orphanage in a beautiful white dress laughing with her friends outside. “You can tell she’s happy,” he said.

He described his times as a photographer; he also discussed his time as an editor of a Lumberton paper. “A member for the Klan came in and asked me to take pictures of a cross burning,” he said. He also took photographs of a sit-in while he worked at the Charlotte Observer.

The event took place in the Main reading room. It was sponsored by The Friends of the Library.


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