“Frank Espada (1930–2014), was a documentary photographer, best known as the creator of the Puerto Rican Diaspora Documentary Project, who photographed the civil rights movement of the 1960s as well. His work is in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery and the Library of Congress.
For the “Diaspora” project, Espada interviewed hundreds of people and photographed their workplaces, homes and communities. Subjects of his portraits include community leaders such as the Director of El Museo del Barrio Jack Agüeros, author Piri Thomas, activist Manny Diaz and Director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Miriam Colón, among others. He stated that his work documenting the Puerto Rican community exists “to celebrate [their] culture, to educate the community at large, to make a political statement, and to remind everyone that [they] are a national presence.”