Photographs From Historic African American Hamlets in Kentucky's Inner Bluegrass Region
The Homeplace is comfort. The place you can go back to no matter how many years have passed. It will always hold something familiar something safe.
The name comes from an invitation to join the Howard family for Sunday supper at their “ Homeplace”, where generations have grown up moved away and come back to. There isn’t just one community where these images were made but many, however they all are intertwined through history, geography, friends, family and traditions which I have tried to capture these past 16 years on film.
I realize 16 years is a long time to work on one project and I suppose it would have been completed if the invitations or suggestions had stopped. “ Sarah daddy’s killing hogs tomorrow if you want to come.” “ I am planting my last row of tobacco next week.” “Our family reunion is the first Saturday in August. “You will be here?”
So you see how lucky am I, to have such wonderful invitations. How could I possibly turn them down? Besides I couldn’t imagine my life without the people and places I now call my second home, The Homeplace.
The following from Jacki Lyden NPR
" In 25 years of journalism, I’m not sure that I’ve ever done a story quite like this one. In spring of 2010, I spent four days on the road with Hoskins and in the lives of her subjects. "
For a decade, Hoskins has returned over and over again to tiny communities, capturing change. She has, scraping together truly meager resources, told an essential part of American and African-American history. Sarah’s subjects are the descendents of freedmen and slaves. If Hoskins had not spent the last decade photographing these ‘Negro Hamlets,’ we might never have had the record of how these people moved from bondage to sharecropping to enduring Jim Crow, to becoming the proud people they are today. For Sarah to be embraced by this community took patience, ingenuity, and sincerity in addition to drive . For for her to capture them in striking, haunting images also took talent. The result is that, not unlike what Robert Frank did for unseen places in ‘the Americans,’ or what Dorothea Lange did for the Dust Bowl migrants or Gordon Parks did for ‘Negro’ Pullman porters, Sarah Hoskins has done. And of course, she has not left the story with the agrarian ways of the past but moved with her subjects as they built new community halls or began food businesses or found learned to celebrate their heritage. "