CULTURAL HISTORY

PUBLISHER
Redstone Press

BOOK FORMAT
Flexi, 9.75 x 12.5 in. / 144 pgs / 50 color / 54 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

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D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 27   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781942884538 TRADE
List Price: $35.00 CDN $39.95 GBP £30.00

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In stock

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REDSTONE PRESS

Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition

Introduction by Jacqueline Francis, Stephen G. Hall. Foreword by David Adjaye. Contribution by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

How W.E.B. Du Bois combined photographs and infographics to communicate the everyday realities of Black lives and the inequities of race in America

At the 1900 Paris Exposition the pioneering sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois presented an exhibit representing the progress of African Americans since the abolition of slavery. In striking graphic visualisations and photographs (taken by mostly anonymous photographers) he showed the changing status of a newly emancipated people across America and specifically in Georgia, the state with the largest Black population. This beautifully designed book reproduces the photographs alongside the revolutionary graphic works for the first time, and includes a marvelous essay by two celebrated art historians, Jacqueline Francis and Stephen G. Hall.

Du Bois' hand-drawn charts, maps and graphs represented the achievements and economic conditions of African Americans in radically inventive forms, long before such data visualization was commonly used in social research. Their clarity and simplicity seems to anticipate the abstract art of the Russian constructivists and other modernist painters to come. The photographs were drawn from African American communities across the United States. Both the photographers and subjects are mostly anonymous. They show people engaged in various occupations or posing formally for group and studio portraits. Elegant and dignified, they refute the degrading stereotypes of Black people then prevalent in white America. Du Bois' exhibit at the Paris Exposition continues to resonate as a powerful affirmation of the equal rights of Black Americans to lives of freedom and fulfilment. Black Lives 1900 captures this singular work.

American sociologist, historian, author, editor and activist W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963) was the most influential Black civil rights activist of the first half of the 20th century. He was a protagonist in the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909, and his 1903 bookThe Souls of Black Folk remains a classic and a landmark of African American literature.


PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Margaret Busby

"This is an extraordinary book – an arrestingly beautiful combination of photographs and graphics."

Author of "White Girls" and staff writer at The New Yorker

Hilton Als

I find this lush and exquisitely produced book essential to my understanding of a historical event that did much to change my perception of DuBois, and his brilliant expansiveness. It's marvelous to have this "lost" material between covers now, and forever.

New Yorker

Hua Hsu

Rothenstein seeks to emphasize the relevance of Du Bois’s work through juxtaposition: materials from the original exhibition are interspersed with excerpts from Du Bois’s own writings and more... These interstitial selections seem intended to conjure a continuum of black voices, or perhaps to argue that the insurmountable prejudices of Du Bois’s day linger in the present.

It's Nice That

Laura Snoad

Focussing on the set of 63 infographics Du Bois presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition, [the book] shows the pioneering graphs, charts and maps Du Bois developed with a team of African American students from his sociology laboratory at Atlanta University to radically challenge racism and the arguments behind white supremacy.

Guardian

Sukhdev Sandhu

A handsome new book that tells a lesser-known but fascinating story about the 1900 fair: the staging of the American Negro Exhibit at the grand Palace of Social Economy.

LitHub

Jacqueline Francis

Shattered myths about Black America...

Bookforum

Ciaran Finlayson

Thematic and poetic pairings... By recovering [W.E.B. Du Bois's] mode of presentation—illustrating impersonal forces besides portraits of individuals, their homes and their workplaces—this volume gives further evidence, if such is still needed, of Du Bois's rich dialectical method.

Galerie

Charles Caesar

contains reproduction of the images taken by mostly anonymous photographers showing the changing status of a newly emancipated people across America.

Aperture

Jovonna Jones

A Visual Record of Black Lives, Four Decades After Emancipation.

Dazed

Miss Rosen

A striking selection of photographs, cutting-edge infographics, books, pamphlets, and unique objects illustrating African-America achievements in the years following emancipation. DuBois’ graphs of Black accomplishment, not intended as art, prefigure the movement towards abstract art by decades, though they went unrecognised as such until recent times.

Galerie

Lucy Rees

With an assortment of hand-drawn charts, maps, graphs, and photographs taken by anonymous photographers, he shed light on the status of newly emancipated people across America—a powerful affirmation of the equal rights of Black Americans.

Cartographic Perspectives

Krystle Harrell

Black Lives 1900: W. E. B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition beautifully weaves together Du Bois’s groundbreaking graphic visualizations with photographs of Black Americans post-slavery, to tell the little-known story of The American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 World’s Fair...this book is a timely reminder of what Black Americans can achieve in the face of oppression, as well as a somber reminder that even though “the twentieth century” is over, “the problem of the color line” is not yet solved.

Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/7/2019

Join us at the Boston Art Book Fair!

Join us at the Boston Art Book Fair!

Join us Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 10 at Boston's Cyclorama Building for the Boston Art Book Fair, where we will be featuring a mix of new and noteworthy titles and books relating to Boston exhibitions! continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/12/2019

'Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition' is an historic must

'Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition' is a historic "must"

Featured spreads are reproduced from Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition, one of our Top 5 Holiday Gift Books for Students of Black History. Featuring mostly anonymous turn-of-the-century photography and Du Bois' groundbreaking infographics, this book is an historic must. "Du Bois is known as one of America's greatest intellectuals—a wordsmith, a scholar, a poet, a polemicist—but this stunning book reminds us that he also had a powerful visual imagination," Kwame Anthony Appiah writes. "His work at the 1900 Paris Exposition, intently taking on stereotypes of Negro backwardness, shows a profound engagement with the image. Nobody knew better than he how images could bamboozle; nobody knew better how images could enlighten…" continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/24/2019

'Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition' is a book for every art or history bookshelf

'Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition' is a book for every art or history bookshelf

Featured spread—juxtaposing W.E.B. Du Bois' graph showing the "Proportion of Freemen and Slaves among American Negroes" from 1790 through 1870 with a portrait captioned "Young woman, head and shoulders portrait"—is from Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition, a beautifully designed, oversized book of supreme intrinsic power that belongs on every art or American history bookshelf. Combining the photographs and hand-drawn infographics documenting the state and statistics of black lives in America that Du Bois presented at the Paris Exposition of 1900, it contains writing by Jacqueline Francis, Stephen G. Hall, David Adjaye and Henry Louis Gates Jr.. "I find this lush and exquisitely produced book essential to my understanding of a historical event that did much to change my perception of DuBois, and his brilliant expansiveness," Hilton Als writes. "It's marvelous to have this 'lost' material between covers now, and forever." continue to blog


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