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Black in America Hardcover – March 17, 1997
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This stunning portfolio of photographs shows the exquisite range of Black America, its pain and its sorrow, its joy and triumph, and, above all, its humanity. Eli Reed, a photographer and filmmaker, winner of numerous awards, has crisscrossed the United States from the Carolinas to California, documenting the many faces of black life. Here are children playing gleefully on wrecked cars in Harlem, a homeless couple in Philadelphia, seemingly too dispirited to look at the camera, and prom-goers at a Brooklyn high school. In his introduction, Reed writes that he began photographing black people as a "simple way of honoring my parents and acknowledging what they had experienced during their lives." He has done just that in representing the black experience faithfully and with dignity.
From Library Journal
In these two works, Mauskopf and Reed capture the black experience in late-20th-century America with powerful documentary images that will remain with the viewer long after the books are closed. Reed, the first black photographer for Magnum, has photographed all over the world but is drawn most strongly to the daily lives of blacks in America. His book is a compilation of photographs, made over the last two decades in many American cities, that contrasts pain and celebrations, riots and prayer meetings, births and funerals, black professionals and the unemployed. Parks, himself a photographer, contributes an essay that reflects on the images and the man who made them. Mauskopf presents a quieter collection of images made in one part of the South, the most isolated black communities of the Mississippi Delta, where time seems to have stopped in midcentury. The photographs are full of love, joy, and religious faith and are richly reproduced here as sheet-fed gravures. Mauskopf portrays the poorest Americans, who are nonetheless rich in family, church, and community bonds. He documents the unifying and dominant role of religion as well as the joys and sustenance provided by music, dance, romance, family life, and the land itself. These images capture a sense of place so powerfully that captions aren't necessary, though a brief and poetic essay by novelist Kenan nicely complements the photographs. Both books are recommended for all collections on black history, American studies, and photographic history and art.?Kathleen Collins, New York Transit Museum Archives, Brooklyn
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.