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Hardnotts Founder Releases First Book

Duane C. Fernandez Sr. is an award-winning professional photographer and lead photojournalist for two newspapers in Florida —  the Daytona Times based in Daytona Beach and the statewide Florida Courier. He has covered a wide range of media events, including the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida; Muhammad Ali’s funeral in Louisville, Kentucky; the Emanuel A.M.E. Church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina; Ku Klux Klan rally in Columbia, South Carolina; as well as President Barack Obama's campaign stop in Florida for Hillary Clinton for president .

“Lies Uncovered: “The Truth About the Arthur G. Dozier Reform School for Boys" is his first Black History documentary and book. He became interested in the story about the Arthur G. Dozier Reform School for Boys after covering the funeral of Daytona Beach native Billy Jackson, who was sent to the Dozier Reform School in 1952 for skipping two days of school. The boy was beaten to death while there.

The public can look forward to many more documentaries written, directed and produced by A Hardnotts Video Productions.

​Duane’s background includes the founding of Team Hardnotts University Youth Awareness Program / Teaching Youth to Shoot with Cameras Not Guns. He is also the owner and manager of Hardnotts Photography LLC, located in Daytona Beach. He has received many awards and recognition as a photojournalist, including being named one of three finalists in the Florida Press Association for a photo collage published in 2016 titled "Capturing Harmony to Hate,'' which showed visitors to Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston after the shooting and a Ku Klux Klan rally held the same weekend. 

In addition, his photographs published in the Florida Courier have placed second as a finalist in the National Association of Black Journalists' Salute to Excellence Awards in 2016 and in the top three in 2019.  In November 2019, he received a first-place award from the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists for his photograph of an August 2018 rally in Clearwater, Florida featuring civil rights activists demanding justice after the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.

Duane is a graduate of Daytona State College and holds degrees in Photographic Studies and Television Production. He also has a degree in Culinary Arts from Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut.  He lives in Daytona Beach, Florida.


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