FINE ARTS

Revolution in Black and White: Photographs of the Civil Rights Era

CityFiles. Sept. 2019. 264p. ISBN 9780991541843. $49.95. PHOTOG
COPY ISBN
This collection of hundreds of photographs by prominent African American photojournalist Withers (1922–2007) documents the civil rights movement as well as the everyday lives of black Americans from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Withers photographed Martin Luther King Jr., the Negro Baseball League, and the Emmett Till murder trial in 1955. The large format layout, with images often spanning full-page spreads, add tremendous visual appeal. The pictures express not only the tumult of the times, but Withers’s commendable artistic skill. CityFiles Press owners and coauthors (Vivian Maier) Richard Cahan and Michael Williams add context to the work. There is no shortage of excellent photographic collections of the civil rights era, but this book stands out for its treatment of ordinary life in Memphis and for being entirely the work of one person.
VERDICT A visual documentary and an insider’s perspective of the civil rights movement, and a timely glimpse into the modern history of racial injustice in America.

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