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Robert Sengstacke

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Information about Robert Sengstacke

Profile image of Robert Sengstacke

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Photojournalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Fruits and Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
The Two Most Important Things In Life Are A Person And His Relationship With God, And The Second Is Money.

Birthplace

Born:
5/29/1943
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Photojournalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Fruits and Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
The Two Most Important Things In Life Are A Person And His Relationship With God, And The Second Is Money.

Birthplace

Born:
5/29/1943
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Robert Sengstacke is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Photographer and heir of a distinguished African American newspaper publisher, Robert Abbott Sengstacke, popularly known as “Bobby,” was born May 29, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois. Named after the founder of the Chicago Defender, Robert Sengstacke Abbott, Bobby attended the University of Chicago Lab School, Manument boarding school in Pennsylvania and Howalton Day School in Chicago before attending Hyde Park High School. Sengstacke graduated from Central YMCA High School in 1962. Artistic and restless, he attended Florida’s Bethune Cookman College for three and a half years before returning to Chicago.

Growing up with the newspaper gave Sengstacke unique access to important events and people. Learning to shoot from Le Mont Mac Lemore, Billy Abernathy and Bob Black of the Chicago Sun-Times in the mid-1950s, Sengstacke’s thousands of black and white photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Imamu Baraka and other well-known figures, places and events were widely published. His compositions, Spiritual Grace and Saviour’s Day, are included in the “We Shall Overcome” exhibit and are from his days as staff photographer for the Nation Of Islam’s periodical, Muhammad Speaks. His work also appears in most Black Arts Movement anthologies of the 1960s and 1970s. Widely collected and archived, Sengstacke was recognized for his photography.

Sengstacke returned to the family business, joining with other family members in working with the Chicago Defender. He was active in helping to increase the circulation of the paper, which remains as one of the nation’s last African American daily newspapers.

Sengstacke was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 19, 2003.

Sengstacke passed away on March 7, 2017.

See how Robert Sengstacke is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Sengstacke's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Sengstacke lists he favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his mother and her family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Sengstacke describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his German relatives, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his German relatives, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Sengstacke explains his father's relationship to Chicago Defender founder Robert Sengstacke Abbott
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Sengstacke talks about the family of Robert Sengstacke Abbott, founder of the Chicago Defender
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Sengstacke shares a story about Robert Sengstacke Abbott's motivation to succeed
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Sengstacke talks about the book, 'The Lonely Warrior: The Life and Times of Robert S. Abbott,' by Roi Ottley
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Sengstacke describes the platforms of the Chicago Defender
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Sengstacke describes how the Chicago Defender was distributed in the South
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Sengstacke talks about Robert Sengstacke Abbott's relationship with orator, Roscoe Conkling Simmons
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Sengstacke talks about other African American newspapers and the formation of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Sengstacke describes his father's work forming Amalgamated Publishers, Inc. and the National Newspaper Publishers Association
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Sengstacke talks about African American sports editors who discovered Jackie Robinson
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his father helping William L. Dawson to get elected at committeeman in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Sengstacke describes the work his father and William L. Dawson did to sway African American voters to the Democratic Party
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his father and William L. Dawson helping African Americans attend President Harry S. Truman's inaugural ball
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his father's involvement in the integration of the U.S. Armed Forces in 1948
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Sengstacke describes his father's role in placing advertising into African American magazines
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Sengstacke talks about the circulation of magazines and newspapers in Chicago and the Chicago Defender's success and expansion in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Sengstacke talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Sengstacke describes his mother
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Sengstacke reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Sengstacke talks about the Sengstacke name and becoming a well-known photographer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Sengstacke talks about the Rosenwald Apartments and prominent African Americans on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Sengstacke describes growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Sengstacke talks about going to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago, Illinois and Manumit School in Bristol, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Sengstacke describes his experience at Manumit School in Bristol, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his lack of stimulation in school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Sengstacke remembers an encouraging teacher and lists the different elementary schools he attended
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Sengstacke describes going to Hyde Park Academy High School and Central YMCA High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Sengstacke talks about the potential limitations of a traditional academic education and useful technological advancements
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Sengstacke describes how he became interested in photography
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Sengstacke remembers the theft of his artwork by a teacher at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Sengstacke describes innovative approaches to photojournalism in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Sengstacke talks about photographing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Sengstacke describes what makes his photography different from other photographers of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Sengstacke talks about working with the Nation of Islam and their newspaper, Muhammad Speaks
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his role in the Black Arts Movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Sengstacke talks about photographers of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Sengstacke talks about photographers capturing the African American renaissance
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Sengstacke describes his most sought after photographs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Sengstacke describes his technical camera equipment, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Sengstacke describes his technical camera equipment, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Sengstacke talks about digital photography
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his father's management style
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his involvement in the business side of the Chicago Defender
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Sengstacke talks about the financial condition of the Chicago Defender
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Sengstacke describes the challenges of newspaper circulation and appealing to younger audiences
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Sengstacke describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Sengstacke talks about targeting a younger audience for the Chicago Defender
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Sengstacke talks about his daughter, Myiti Sengstacke Rice
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Sengstacke describes the legacy of his family, the Sengstackes
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Sengstacke reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Sengstacke describes how he would like to be remembered