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IMAGE GALLERY

This 1947 portrait of the renowned American contralto Marian Anderson is reproduced from "
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/29/2020

In 'O, Write My Name,' Black History via Harlem Heroes

This 1947 portrait of the renowned American contralto Marian Anderson is reproduced from 'O, Write My Name,' Eakins Press Foundation's beautifully produced collection of mid-century portraits of major figures of the Harlem Renaissance by Carl Van Vechten. Featuring such noted figures as James Baldwin, Romare Bearden, W.E.B. Dubois, Ella Fitzgerald, Nora Holt, Zora Neale Hurston, Mahalia Jackson, Jacob Lawrence, Alain Locke and Richard Wright, this volume truly brings Black history alive. "Photography in the nineteenth century had its realists, but photography as a tool of social science and anthropology was also used to reinforce the tenets of racism," Darryl Pinckney writes. "The threat of ruin and violence was so real in the early twentieth century, when ninety percent of the black population lived in the South, that it was easy to mistake conformity to racist images on the part of black people for the way they really were. Whites couldn't imagine what blacks had to do to survive. 'We wear the mask that grins and lies,' [a] Paul Dunbar poem begins. But with the migration to the North, and the political change that came with World War II, with black veterans not willing to accept what had happened to their fathers after World War I, the country began to see and hear black people as themselves. It was a cultural movement that through his photography Van Vechten both witnessed and abetted. In remaining true to the cause, he discovered his best self."

Carl Van Vechten: 'O, Write My Name': American Portraits, Harlem Heroes

Carl Van Vechten: 'O, Write My Name': American Portraits, Harlem Heroes

Eakins Press Foundation
Hbk, 7.5 x 10 in. / 136 pgs / 50 duotone.

$50.00  free shipping





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