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For All the World to See - Berger, Maurice; Davis, Thulani - Yale University Press
  • Apr 20, 2010
    224 p., 8 x 10
    53 b&w and 37 color illus.
    ISBN: 9780300121315
    Cloth: $39.95 
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History
Art and Architecture

For All the World to See

Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights

  • Maurice Berger; Foreword by Thulani Davis
      REVIEWS             PREVIEW             CONTENTS             EXCERPTS      

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010 in the Art & Architecture category

Winner of the 2010 Outstanding Exhibition in a University Art Museum, given by the Association of Art Museum Curators

Finalist for the 2011 Benjamin J. Hooks Institute for Social Change Book Award

In 1955, shortly after Emmett Till was murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi, his grieving mother distributed to the press a gruesome photograph of his mutilated corpse. Asked why she would do this, she explained that by witnessing with their own eyes the brutality of segregation and racism, Americans would be more likely to support the cause of racial justice. “Let the world see what I’ve seen,” was her reply. The publication of the photograph inspired a generation of activists to join the civil rights movement.

Despite this extraordinary episode, the story of visual culture’s role in the modern civil rights movement is rarely included in its history. This is the first comprehensive examination of the ways images mattered in the struggle, and it investigates a broad range of media including photography, television, film, magazines, newspapers, and advertising.

These images were ever present and diverse: the startling footage of southern white aggression and black suffering that appeared night after night on television news programs; the photographs of black achievers and martyrs in Negro periodicals; the humble snapshot, no less powerful in its ability to edify and motivate. In each case, the war against racism was waged through pictures—millions of points of light, millions of potent weapons that forever changed a nation. Through vivid storytelling and incisive analysis, this powerful book allows us to see and understand the crucial role that visual culture played in forever changing a nation.

Maurice Berger is Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Senior Fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics of The New School. He is the author of the critically acclaimed White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness, which was named as a finalist for the 2000 Horace Mann Bond Book Award.

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

International Center of Photography, New York
(May 21 to September 12, 2010)

DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago
(January 17 - May 16, 2011)

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
(June 10 to November 27, 2011)

Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland Baltimore County
(November 2012 to March 2013)

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis
(January 12 - August 20, 2012)

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
(April to July 2013)

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