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Writers LIVE! John Clark Mayden, Baltimore Lives: The Portraits of John Clark Mayden

Registration not required, but encouraged. Click here to register through Eventbrite.

John Clark Mayden will give a slide-illustrated presentation of his photography while in conversation with Kenyatta Berry, then answer audience questions.

Native Baltimorean John Clark Mayden is no stranger to the world of photography, community, and law. Mr. Mayden born May 16, 1951, was educated through the public school system of Baltimore and was a high school athlete, captain of the football team and president of the student government association.  Mr. Mayden attended Ohio Wesleyan University on an academic scholarship and graduated with a double major in Politics and Government and Fine Arts.  

From June 1975 through August 1978 Mr. Mayden attended the University of Baltimore Law School.  He obtained a juris doctor in 1978 and was later admitted to the Maryland Bar. He worked at the Baltimore City Law Department for over 33 years.

His photographic journey began while in college while working summers as an intern at WMAR-TV, where he learned how to operate a 35 mm camera, develop film, and make prints. John focused his work on portraits of Black people who lived near his home in West Baltimore.  He was influenced by the political activism and advocacy observed while attending Union Baptist Church. 

Mr. Mayden has photographed for over 51 years, amassed over 30,000 negatives mainly of African Americans who lived and worked in West Baltimore – Baltimore’s premier Black neighborhood.  He work has been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Walter’s Art Museum, Peabody Institute Library and was published in two volumes of the Black Photographer’s Annual. 

In 2019, Johns Hopkins Press published John’s work, Baltimore Lives: the Portraits of John Clark Mayden to wide acclaim.  The book won the Indies Prize for Photography, and several of his pictures were included in the HBO documentary, Between the World and Me which is based on Ta-Nehisi Coates account of his struggles as a Black youth in Baltimore.   

Kenyatta Berry is a contributor to the groundbreaking “1619 Project” published by the New York Times.  She was the 2019 Honorary Chair for Preservation Week and named a “Newsmaker” in American Libraries magazine a publication of the American Library Association. She is an author, attorney, lecturer, professional genealogist and television personality with over 20 years of experience. Kenyatta’s knowledge in the areas of African American Genealogy, Enslaved Ancestral Research and DNA has made her an invaluable “go to” source for information from all parts of the world.

Kenyatta Berry's TV host job on Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) generated enormous buzz surrounding her insight, understanding and expertise by colleagues, genealogy organizations, media and supporters alike. As demand grows for people to learn more about their lineage and DNA, she continues to innovate, transforming the world of genealogy by making it more accessible to the masses. 

ASL interpretation will be available to attendees.

Visit to order your copy of Baltimore Lives: the Portraits of John Clark Mayden.

Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a bequest from The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Writers LIVE!, Virtual Event

Age Group

Adults, Seniors

Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Event Publisher

Emily Levine, Manager of Adult Services

Digital Signage


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