The Self in Black and White: Race and Subjectivity in Postwar American Photography
UPNE, 2010 - 236 pages
The Self in Black and White is a fascinating and original study of the ways in which notions about race and the self were formed, perpetuated, and contested in American photography during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, with an emphasis on images of the civil rights movement and the War on Poverty. Author Erina Duganne opens with a discussion of the Kamoinge Workshop, an African American photographers’ collective from the 1960s. She goes on to discuss the 1965 government-sponsored photography exhibition “Profile of Poverty” which sought to stir up emotional support for the War on Poverty via “documentary” images of poverty and race. She analyzes the complex interconnections of race and artistic subjectivity through a comparison of the careers of Bruce Davidson, who was often praised for the artistic merit of his civil rights images, and Roy DeCarava, who was singled out for the “authenticity” of his Harlem photographs. The Self in Black and White is a compelling interdisciplinary consideration of the eye behind the camera and the formative power it wields.
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Aaron Siskind aesthetic African American African American photographers argues Beuford Smith Bey’s Black Photographers black subjects Bruce Davidson Bruce Davidson Photographs camera caption Cartier-Bresson civil rights movement Clark complex context Davidson’s American Negro Davidson’s photographs Dawoud Bey DeCarava’s photographs depicts discussion documentary photography East Harlem editors Edward Steichen emotional essay Eugene Smith European American evoked exhibition explains explore Family feelings Fennar figure Flypaper formal Freedom Rides function Gallery gang Harlem photographs Harrington Henri Cartier-Bresson Herbert Randall Hughes human Humphrey John Szarkowski Johnson Kamoinge members Kamoinge Workshop Kouwenhoven literal lived Look Louis Draper magazine Magnum Photos medium Modern Art MoMA Museum of Modern Negro American Newsweek photo-essay Porter portfolio position Press problem produced Profile of Poverty racial meanings relationship representation of race Riders Robert Frank Roy DeCarava SNCC specific street tion tograph Trottenberg University viewers visual woman York