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Black Beauty: A History and a Celebration Paperback – October 17, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press (October 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156025341X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560253419
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[O]ffers a visual history of the varieties of black beauty with striking artwork and lavish photographs of cultural heavyweights." -- Helen Frangoulis, Playboy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I have two publishing jobs - I am an author and also a creative director of photography books. I was born in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents. I originally wanted to be a footballer, but my father preferred me to have an academic career, like many African parents of the 60s, and so I trained as an architect instead. My first job as a young graduate was producing drawings for the Oxo Tower building on London's South Bank, adjacent to the Tate gallery.

In 2000 I wrote my first book, 'Black Beauty' - an exploration of society's historical perceptions of the black image - which later became the subject of a three-part BBC documentary. Following this I worked as a voiceover artist before becoming creative director at Gloria books, publishers of luxury limited edition photography books.

In 2011 I launched my own e-publishing imprint, Arogundade Books. Most recently I have released a revised digital edition of 'Black Beauty', as well as a mini-biography of Donyale Luna, the first black supermodel, entitled 'Beauty's Enigma'. My debut novel 'The Sexual Language of Strangers', is also just completed.

I see myself only partially as a writer - it is but one facet of a myriad of creative things that I am interested in. I hope to master as many of them as I can in the coming years.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "cathymarie" on October 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A history and a celebration indeed. This book is exquisitely fascinating and absolutely beautiful; it's BREATHTAKING and will leave you completely speechless. From an informative history of black beauty and fashion and how it has been perceived throughout the years by the media to wonderful images of black icons like Mohammed Ali, Wesley Snipes, Lauryn Hill and Josephine Baker. It features not only the prominent faces of today but the icons of yesteryear who were our fore fathers and mothers in the shaping of what black beauty is today. This is a must have for every coffee table in every proud household; a must have for any lover of photography and the beauty of fashion and media icons. To say that this book is captivating is a complete understatement. Every time I look through the pages of this beautiful book, I'm proud and grateful that finally, the world is coming to see that WE ARE A BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
From its striking cover photo of Grace Jones, to its fact-based, somewhat colorful prose, this is a fascinating book on a controversial subject - black is beautiful - or is it. Mr. Arogundade says it is - and for the most part he's right. He clearly discusses on the history of beauty in the black diaspora, and how it has survived, despite European influences and attempts to define it...the pictures speak for themselves...the subjects are quite stunning...I think it is a great book for black people of all ages, and for non-blacks who are simply curious as to know what defines black beauty...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MARVIN WOODS on January 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I believe this book is well written and filled with great insight and photos. I found that it gave a good look at some of our heros, and their obsticles that they had to over come before they could revel in the glory of greatness. It also show's some of our struggles as a people of color and how we have made positive progress over the last 100 years. This book offers inspiration because the author himself (from what I understand) had finished his studies to be an architect, and couldn't find steady work in his field. He then stumbled into modeling by chance. After an unsuccessful business venture of his own, not to be beaten Ben pushed forward and successfully rallied to writing and having his work published by a major publishing company I say hats off to him. Congradulations Ben!Job well done. His perserverance and tenacity goes along with the people inside this book that he has written about. Lastly, I definetly recommend this book for all... This is precise and concious writing and it is not just for people of color and who happened to live in the United States. We can all gain something from this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By InTheBlack on April 30, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book features some great photos. It offers the reader a good opportunity to revel in black folk/ culture/ expression. Also, it's an honorable attempt to address one of the intangible race issues that so impacts black folk and yet is under-addressed. Still...the author focuses too much, perhaps, on Western views of black beauty throughout history. In recounting the various stages of the Black reaction to cultural alienation and degradation of our physicality, he paints a picture of resiliency that is poignant and inspiring. But what's really needed in this area is proaction on our part, and less reaction. Toward that end, I would have liked to see more exploration, in Black Beauty, of the different concepts of beauty, in different cultures, throughout different periods in the human experience. In doing so, Arogundade would have better illuminated the subjective nature of beauty standards, thereby positing a sturdier framework in which to truly envision (and revel in) our own.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In Black Beauty: A History And A Celebration, Ben Arogundade offers a comprehensive and insightful history of the black aesthetic ranging from the days of slavery and its necessity to dehumanize blacks, to the evolution of black cosmetic products, images and hairstyles, to modern day icons of film, television, music, sports, and fashion. This impressive anthology is profusely illustrated throughout with photography from Annie Leibovitz, David Baily, Albert Watson, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, and others. Black Beauty is impressive, informative, inspiring, occasionally iconoclastic, and a superb addition to any personal, academic, or community library Black Studies collection.
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