“I couldn’t stop crying.” From one conversation to another, those were the words photojournalist Eli Reed heard most often from friends after the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. For Eli, the enormity of what happened on November 4th didn’t hit him until the middle of the night, days later, when he was back home in Texas. In Chicago, though, all of his emotions were buried as he dispassionately did his work. He arrived on the Thursday before the election to get a feel for the place and start taking pictures. He continued his work until just after Election Day. The photo essay on these pages is from that trip to Chicago, images Eli caught during the euphoria of those few days surrounding Obama’s election. —Lois Fiore
Photos by Eli Reed.
Eli Reed, a 1983 Nieman Fellow, is professor of photojournalism in the School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A Magnum photographer, Reed has worked around the world for many magazines and newspapers. His two books, “Beirut, City of Regrets,” and “Black in America,” were published by W.W. Norton. “Getting Out,” his 1992 documentary on Detroit gangs, was honored by the 1996 Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame International Independent Film and Video Competition. Reed has received many other awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award for work done in Central America and the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his work on Black Americans.