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Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives Hardcover – October 17, 2017
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"Maya Angelou said that 'there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Indeed, there is an agony in our nation that the stories, the voices, and the images of Black Americans are so unknown, untold, and unseen in our wider understanding of history. This bountiful collection of once-unpublished photographs both gives expressive voice to their subjects and helps to relieve this agony, bringing to life a more complete picture of the compelling, complex, and beautiful story that is America."―Cory Booker, U.S. senator and bestselling author of United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good.
"Unseen reminds me of a lost black history version of 'You Are There,' told through photographs that The Times commissioned but chose not to print. This book is a vivid account of race relations in America, narrated through images that survived between the spaces of stories, in the gaps, silences, and lacuna buried in the paper's archives. They constitute a remarkably vivid parallel text to the last half century of American history, creating an extraordinarily moving visual narrative of the feelings and actions of black Americans in the striking particularity of black-and-white photography. The book simulates what it would have been like to read The Times each day for the last half century, if the full picture of the African American experience had made the cut. If any book proves that it is never too late to publish 'all the news'--and images--'fit to print,' this is it.―Henry Louis Gates, Jr., director of Harvard's Hutchins Center for African American Research and an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker
"By unearthing these fascinating photographs and sharing the stories behind them, the contributors to this extraordinary project have created a treasure."―Marian Wright Edelman, president, Children's Defense Fund
"This book brings the excitement of opening a time capsule, with powerful photographs and searching commentary by an all-star cast that gives us new and original insights into modern African American history."―Michael Beschloss, historian and bestselling author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989
"The power of images is undeniable; so, for many years, has been the power of the The New York Times. This new volume, by a team headed by a Times photo editor, contains 175 remarkable (and hitherto-unpublished) photos of significant moments in African-American life and culture."―St. Louis Post-Dispatch
About the Author
Darcy Eveleigh is a photo editor The New York Times and the creator and editor of The Lively Morgue, a Times blog and Tumblr series. Follow Darcy on Twitter @DarcyNYT.
Dana Canedy is the administrator for Pulitzer Prizes. She is a former senior editor at The New York Times and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for "How Race Is Lived in America," a series on race relations in the United States. She is the author of A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor. Follow Dana on Twitter @DanaCanedy.
Damien Cave is the Australia Bureau Chief for The New York Times. He was formerly the Deputy Editor for Digital on the paper's National desk and a correspondent in Mexico City, Miami, Baghdad, and Newark. Follow Damien on Twitter @DamienCave.
Rachel L. Swarns is a journalist and author who writes about race and race relations as a contributing writer for The New York Times. She is the author of American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama, which was published in 2012. Her upcoming book about Georgetown University's roots in slavery will be published by Random House in 2020. Visit Rachel on Facebook (rachel.l.swarns) and follow her on Twitter @RachelSwarns.
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That none of the photos included were previously published throws light on the paper’s editorial processes and judgment, issues the authors confront and attempt to explain, albeit admitting that they can’t be certain. What went into those judgments is a story in itself.
The book focuses on the lives of the city’s blacks, particularly those in Harlem; on the contributions blacks make to our culture, art, music, sports, government; and on the civil rights movement, the struggles over voting rights, Jim Crow and segregation. Harlem, as you might expect, has the most listings in the index.
Among the many, many arresting photographs, several of my favorites are of children. The three youngsters shown in the Sunday best in the “Easter in Harlem”photos stole my heart. The proof sheet that contains 23 images of James Baldwin is quite remarkable. But then, virtually all of the photos are captivating in one way or another.
End note. The New York Times day in, day out attention to racism in this country and its cancerous effects on our democracy does the paper great credit. It seems likely that this project will lead to more work based on the paper's voluminous photographic files.
I was channel surfing one day, and these two Authors were on CSPAN. I was mesmerized.
I'm so glad that I had that opportunity to order their book.
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