From Library Journal
Willis (curator, Smithsonian!s Center for African American History and Culture) continues enlightening the public about visual representations of African American experiences, work that just won her a MacArthur genius grant. This catalog of a Smithsonian exhibit that will tour America starting this summer should be read in conjunction with her other books on the subject: Black Photographers, 1840$1940: An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography (New Pr., 1992), VanDerZee, Photographer, 1886$1983 (LJ 11/15/93), and Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography (LJ 12/94). In this more comprehensive book, Willis alternates chronological sections of photographs with essays that discuss the individual photographers and the scope of their work. They range from men and women who operated photography studios and made dignified portraits of the people in their communities, to photojournalists documenting social change, to contemporary artists making creative statements with digital montage techniques. This book certainly should be selected for African American or photography collections, but it could alternatively be put in general American history or social history."Anne Marie Lane, Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie
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Take the time to examine these faces. Make the time to treasure this book. -- BET.com, Barbara Summers
[N]othing less than an epic of Homeric proportions....Willis's magnificent gathering of images...rewrites American history. -- Robin D. G. Kelley