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Lynching Photographs (Defining Moments in American Photography) 1st Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520253322
ISBN-10: 0520253329
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"A lucid, smart, engaging, and accessible introduction to the impact of lynching photography on the history of race and violence in America. "—Grace Elizabeth Hale, author of Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in America, 1890-1940

"With admirable courage, Dora Apel and Shawn Michelle Smith examine lynching photographs that are horrifying, shameful, and elusive; with admirable sensitivity they help us delve into the meaning and legacy of these difficult images. They show us how the images change when viewed from different perspectives, they reveal how the photographs have continued to affect popular culture and political debates, and they delineate how the pictures produce a dialectic of shame and atonement."—Ashraf H. A. Rushdy, author of Neo-Slave Narratives and Remembering Generations

"This thoughtful and engaging book offers a highly accessible yet theoretically sophisticated discussion of a painful, complicated, and unavoidable subject. Apel and Smith, employing complementary (and sometimes overlapping) methodological approaches to reading these images, impress upon us how inextricable photography and lynching are, and how we cannot comprehend lynching without making sense of its photographic representations."—Leigh Raiford, co-editor of The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory

"Our newspapers have recently been filled with photographs of mutilated, tortured bodies from both war fronts and domestic arenas. How do we understand such photographs? Why do people take them? Why do we look at them? The two essays by Apel and Smith address photographs of lynching, but their analysis can be applied to a broader spectrum of images presenting ritual or spectacle killings."—Frances Pohl, author of Framing America: A Social History of American Art

About the Author

Dora Apel is Associate Professor and W. Hawkins Ferry Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art at Wayne State University. She is the author of Memory Effects: The Holocaust and the Art of Secondary Witnessing (2002) and Imagery of Lynching: Black Men, White Women, and the Mob (2004). Shawn Michelle Smith is Associate Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture (1999) and Photography on the Color Line: W.E.B. DuBois, Race, and Visual Culture (2004).
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Product Details

  • Series: Defining Moments in American Photography (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (January 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520253329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520253322
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One thing that has managed to avoid the standard history books of the United States is the way that African Americans were denied basic human rights from the end of slavery times until federal legislation finally was passed by the congress during the Lyndon Johnson administration. My parents lived during this difficult time, and they always knew that "lynching" of fellow African Americans was a very real "current" event to them, that would occur, mainly in the south, or would occur to their relatives if, for whatever reason, the local white community determined that they deserved to be tortured and murdered without the due process of law. One of my neighbors, Emett Till, a 14 year old boy from Chicago, while visiting relatives in Money Mississippi, was "lynched" by a group of white men in 1955, when he was perceived as a "threat" to the local white community. These men who did the lynching were tried by an all white jury and never convicted of their crimes, and had the nerve to boast about what they did (torture and lynch) this teenager days later in the national media. To this day, none of these murderers have spent any time in jail. So, it would benifit all of us if the practice of lynching in the United States were be part of standard American high school teaching. This book, along with the book "Without Sanctuary", must be part of "standard" high school education in the United States.
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There are about 5 or 6 photos.
Pages 1- 10 Introduction.
The 5 or 6 photos are repeated once or twice.
The last 30 pages are notes.
I'm going to try a different book.
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This book is a sobering reminder of a not so distant American past. This shows the brutality and violence that was lynching. Lynching was the number one fear of every African American at one time in America and to this day a very ugly reminder that race relations in this country have been predicated on fear, violence and ignorance. This book was helpful when I wrote a term paper on LYNCHING AND VIOLENCE AGAINST AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. I earned a A on that paper from a Professor who studied under Woodrow Wilson's history instructor at University of Pacific. He is really old school and I came with the facts.

**RECOMMENDED FOR African American studies majors, Sociology majors and Race Relations studies as well as Political Science.
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This book has great historical accounts of the subject matter. I was disappointed that it doesn't have very many pictures.
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If you are a student of history or want to understand the roots of discrimination in America, you simply can't go through your life without reading this book
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If you want to know what made white people feel good and joyful look at the smiling faces of white people in this book, page 60, page 48, page33, pages 21 & 22, page 72, and last but not least page 63, these lynching photographs of black men should be placed inside of every American History book used by school children and teenagers from elementary school onto high school, this is part of American History.
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Gruesome but telling. This book should be thrust in the face of any punk that complains about "Microagressions" and wanting a "Safe zone" at college.

Shows the real struggle blacks endured up until the 1920's.
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