Deborah Willis

Black: A Celebration of a Culture
by Deborah Willis
Publisher's Description
“It is glorious—this history of ours! It is a great story—that of the Negro in America! It begins way before America was America or the U.S.A. It covers a wide span, our story. Let me tell it to you…”—Langston Hughes “I thought about photographers’ works that focus on black life, photographs that celebrate and tell a story about everyday life,” said Deborah Willis, author of BLACK: A Celebration of Culture, “This book is one story—our story—told through photographic imagery.” This significant collection looks at the way in which culture is captured by photographs. Gathered from private and public collections as well as from contemporary artists, these photos are a family album documenting black culture. “This is an extraordinary wonderment of our colored selves,” says actress Anna Maria Horsford in the Foreword. “Each photograph in this book offers us new and revised insights of black culture.” The images are organized according to subject matter: Children, Everyday Life, Work, The Arts, Beauty, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Sports, Portraits, Spirituality, and Celebration. “Looking at photographs produced in the 1930s next to photographs made in 2003, I began to see linkages on the Saturday night/Sunday morning theme,” said Willis, “—Saturday mornings of leisure time, shopping, going to the beauty salons and barber shops; Saturday nights of dancing, partying, playing cards; and familiar Sunday morning baptismal services, ministers at the pulpit, fancy hats, and proud families.” By visually telling her story, Willis encourages readers to consider the shared experiences of black women and men, many of whom had their own businesses and cottage industries. The quality, variety and depth of the images is stunning and moving, capturing the details of lives and times. In so doing, this book anchors history and culture. The photographs serve, “…to validate black culture, especially family life and social ritual,” says Cheryl Finley, Ph.D. in the Afterword. It is the miracle of the everyday that is the most compelling aspect of this lush and artful book. It’s a work to be celebrated by all.
ISBN: 1592580513
Publisher: Hylas Publishing
Hardcover : 320 pages
Language: English
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