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Hodges to bring Gullah exhibit to Colleton

A former Colleton County legislative representative is bringing his lifelong photography skills to Colleton County, showcasing 40 years of photos that demonstrate the black community.
Former S.C. Rep. Kenneth Hodges was a democrat elected to the state House of Representatives. He served Colleton and Beaufort counties, along with Hampton, for many years. Few know that Hodges, who is also a reverend, is also a photographer. For the last 43 years, he has owned Lybensons Gallery. The gallery is named after both of Hodges’ parents, who died early in his career.
His gallery features photography of renowned leaders, most of whom are advocates in the black community. Hodges has taken all of the photos, which include Maya Angelou, Loretta King and Rosa Parks.
He began his photographer career after college, when he was living in Atlanta, he said.
“I did my undergraduate work in Atlanta, which is where I met most of these people,” he said. “Anytime the college did exhibits or had invited guests, I had the privilege to meet those people and photograph them.”
“I’ve met Maya on multiple occasions,” he said.
The upcoming exhibit at the Colleton Civic Center in Walterboro is called “Gullah Africa Link.” It will feature photography from his gallery. The exhibit is also showcasing authentic West African pieces. There will also be Gullah artwork from other regions, including Nigeria. “This will tie the Gullah culture to us directly,” he said.
Hodges said this exhibit is important for Colleton County because of Colleton’s ties to the Gullah culture. The one-day exhibit will be held on Feb. 22 and will end with an evening reception at the civic center.
“I want to demonstrate the importance of Gullah culture, and the ground-swelling of interest on the Gullah culture that we have here,” he said.
Following the exhibit, Hodges will continue hi work as a photographer. He is also working on producing several books, based on his photography collections. One such book will feature one of Hodges’ favorite people – the late Dr. Bejamin E. Mays. This South Carolina native was an educator and had influence on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said Hodges.

Heather Walters (1494 Posts)