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Articles of Faith: African-American Community Churches in Chicago (Center for American Places - Center Books on American Places) [Hardcover]

by Dave Jordano, Carla Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 1, 2009 193006697X 978-1930066977 1

In this era of suburban mega-churches and televised Sunday morning services, it is easy to forget that many Americans worship in small, community churches whose sanctuaries are often repurposed commercial spaces. In Articles of Faith, photographer Dave Jordano documents the at once humble and dynamic storefront churches of Chicago’s African American neighborhoods. These churches, which dot the south and west sides of the city, are truly community churches—individualized and idiosyncratic, they cater to the specific needs and wants of their members.

For the last five years, Jordano has spent his weekends traveling to different churches in the city, getting to know their pastors and parishioners. And this attention to personal detail is highly evident in his exquisite photographs that capture the identity and personalities of each church, from the hand-lettered signs to the icons. His interior images of the sacred spaces illustrate how the congregants create a comforting environment of affirmation, hope, and family for members who often live in neighborhoods marked by high crime and troubled homes. Infused in the space of these makeshift churches is also a sense of history that traces back to a time in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when one of the only forms of open expression available to African Americans was religious practice.

These powerful and reverent images illuminate a vital component of urban life for many African Americans and speak to the links between the past and present African American experience.


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Among the thing I like most about the series [of photographs] is its ideal use of the book format: lifting the cover and turning the pages mimics the physical act of opening a door and peering in. I love the signs of life in each room: the bongo drums, the hand-sewn pillows, the plastic cutlery set for a meal, the makeshift tubs for baptism, the chairs that have been spray-painted gold. . . . These are the signs of work and care which make the expression "House of Worship" ring true--a home away from home, a place to commune."
(New Yorker Book Bench Blog)

"Extraordinary photographs that capture the identity and personality of each church."
(Photography Collector)

About the Author

Dave Jordano is a commercial photographer from Chicago. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Northwestern University, among others.


Product Details

  • Series: Center for American Places - Center Books on American Places
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Center for American Places; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193006697X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930066977
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 12.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,301,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A future star of american photography September 18, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dave Jordano is one of the most interesting american photographers, unfortunately not known enough. His work is always a shock, bright colors, strong lines and special moods. His pictures can remind at Alec Soth's work, but they are just much stronger. I am not interested in churches and faith. But Jordano's work brings you further, beyond churches and faith. It is great photography. If I had a wish, it would be to see Jordano's work on the Mid-West published. It would for sure add a big name to american photography.
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