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Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present Hardcover – October 5, 2009


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Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present + Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present + Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First edition (October 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393066967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393066968
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Willis (Reflections in Black), a MacArthur fellow and chair of New York University's photography department, curates a collection of iconic portraits and snapshots by anonymous photographers in a history of beauty that merges gender, race, family, class. Willis's words, a distillation of her inquiries into beauty and race, are few—the images speak for themselves. The photographs, organized thematically, reach back to the 1890s and forward to the current first family. Famous photographers share perspective with family photographers and those known only as Unidentified Photographer. The recognizably famous—James Baldwin, Marian Anderson, Joe Louis—appear along with those known only as Mom and Friend, Two women holding magazine, ca. 1950s or Barber cutting man's hair outdoors, ca. 1930s. Willis's content is groundbreaking; rarely, for example, are men this adequately represented in a work devoted to beauty within black culture. For Willis, this extraordinary compilation is the culmination of my exploration of beauty within black culture and through the medium of photography. For readers, this is a dazzling eye-opener. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Drawing on 10 years of research and photos from archives, galleries, photographers, friends, and family, Willis reflects the broad spectrum of images of beauty over more than a century. She examines how beauty is defined, exploited, manipulated, and marketed.... An aesthetic look at black beauty by the author of Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present.” (Vanessa Bush - Booklist)

“The book is a treasure, a triumph and a singular achievement that invites fresh and enduring insights with each viewing.” (Jennifer Baszile - The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mercedes P. Brown on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Posing Beauty is an interesting perspective of African-American beauty from the photographer's point of view. It presented African-American beauty from different genders, genres and generations. Media today feeds the masses with a certain beauty that is not reflective of the African-American community. As a proud Black woman I appreciate the photos of the women in this book which showcases the beautiful complextions and features that exist within my race. Black IS beautiful!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lost in d.c. on April 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
IT HAS SO MANY GEORGOUS SNAP SHOTS OF THE BLACK EXPERIENCE. IT REALLY EXCEEDS THE VAN DER ZEE BOOK WHICH IS QUITE GOOD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Regi on October 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best deal in a long time. Great book, great price for a used book & excellent condition. I'm all around pleased

Many images from photographers I have not seen before. The book chronicled more contemporary photos than I expected. Great images from the 70's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By THE CADILLAC BOY on March 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice book. Great pictures, a piece of art. My wife enjoys it. It is a collectible. It shows the real beauty of African americans. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Temiga on March 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Very nice book. Highly recommended. Very nice pictures and description. My wife totally enjoys it. It is worth to buy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George A Williams DMD on January 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, scholarly author, beautiful images and wonderful treatise documenting African American culture from around the turn of the century until now. I am proud to have this book in my collection.
G. Williams
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vidalina P. Arthur-snead on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book with great full size photographic reproductions. Covers the idea of beauty in African American photographic history. Really great book!
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