Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Duane C. Fernandez Sr., the publisher of DeepFocus News, filmmaker, and senior photojournalist for the Florida Courier has been nominated as a finalist for the 2019 Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists (TBABJ) prestigious 2019 Griot Drum Awards. The Griot Drum Awards honor the best journalism on issues related to people of color in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. The winners will be presented during it's 2019 Griot Drum Awards & Scholarship Banquet in Tampa on November 14, 2019.
Fernandez is one of the finalists. His photos were featured in the August 10-16, 2018 issue of the Florida Courier titled "Solidarity in Clearwater."
The photos featured the Reverend Al Sharpton, the parents of Trayvon Martin, Attorney Ben Crump and Democratic candidates who spoke at a rally August 5, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. Speaker's at "The Rally for Justice" questioned Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law before a packed audience at St. John Primitive Baptist Church. They spoke passionately as they pressed for charges to be brought against Michael Drejka the 47-year old White man who shot Markeis McGlockton, 28, during a fight over a parking space.
Fernandez is a creative, high-energy photojournalist, filmmaker, and blogger. His career includes capturing scenes of civil unrest as well as major events throughout the country. He wrote, directed and produced the documentary "Lies Uncovered The Truth About The Arthur G. Dozier Reform School for Boys." The documentary was one of four Black History films chosen for viewing at the Orlando Urban Film Festival at Universal Studios AME Theaters in 2018. He is the owner and founder of Hardnotts Photography L.L.C. and Hardnotts University, a non-profit, with over 20 years of experience mentoring at-risk youth.
Fernandez was also nominated as a finalist for the 2019 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) prestigious Salute to Excellence Awards earlier this year.