Roy Decarava started off painting but traded in his brushes for a camera. His images are focus in African-American life. Decarava was the first black photographer to receive a Guggenheim grant in 1952. In 1996, the Museum of Modern Art put on a retrospective of his work. Decaravawas awarded a National Medal of Arts in 2006. He died in New York City on October 27, 2009.
He is best know as the photographer who created some of the most iconic images United States have of the Civil Right Movement and jazz musicians in motion.