“Spectacular images reflecting the diversity of the African American experience”—Lonnie G. Bunch III
“Compelling and historic.”—Maurice Berger, Lens blog, The New York Times
“Some of the most definitive photographs that chronicle the black American experience.”—Nicole Crowder, In Sight, The Washington Post
This first volume in the Double Exposure series is an introduction to the collection, revealing the ways in which African Americans have used activism, community, and culture to fight for social justice and create a better life.
In addition to over 60 photographs, this striking volume includes a foreword by founding director Lonnie G. Bunch III, an introduction by curator Rhea L. Combs, and an essay by photographer and academic Deborah Willis. Featured photographers include Spider Martin, Gordon Parks, Ernest C. Withers, and Wayne F. Miller. Iconic pictures such as McPherson and Oliver’s Gordon under Medical Inspection (1863) join images from the Civil Rights Movement, as well as unfamiliar or recently discovered images, including Henry Clay Anderson’s post-war pictures of everyday life in the segregated black community in Greenville, Mississippi.
From pre-Civil War daguerreotype portraits to twenty-first-century digital prints, this is a powerful record of key historical events, cultural touchstones, and private and communal moments of African American life.
Double Exposure is a dynamic series based on the notable photography collection supporting the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Lonnie G. Bunch III is the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Rhea L. Combs is a curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Head of
the Museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts.
Deborah Willis is an art photographer and Professor and Chair at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Table of contents
- Foreword by Lonnie G. Bunch III
- Self-Representation and Hope: The Power of the Picture by Rhea L. Combs
- America’s Lens by Deborah Willis