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It’s September 1918. Donald Brown is a photographer in Houston. His close friend Clara Barnes is a nursing student at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. “Three Good Leads,” by Richard Cunningham, is their story, which unfolds as World War I is approaching its climax and the Spanish influenza is sweeping the world — and the Texas Gulf Coast.
Orphaned by the 1900 Storm, Donald was adopted by a white family living in Freedman’s Town in Houston’s Fourth Ward. He picked up photography and become a freelance photographer, selling photographs to local newspapers.
In ‘Three Good Leads,” Donald has made a name for himself through photographs he took to accompany a series on the effects of the influenza plague sweeping through Houston written by reporter and mentor Clifford Murray.