Seeing through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography

Seeing through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography

by Martin A. Berger
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520268636

ISBN-13: 9780520268630

Pub. Date: 05/02/2011

Publisher: University of California Press

Seeing through Race is a boldly original reinterpretation of the iconic photographs of the black civil rights struggle. Martin A. Berger's provocative and groundbreaking study shows how the very pictures credited with arousing white sympathy, and thereby paving the way for civil rights legislation, actually limited the scope of racial reform in the 1960s.

Overview

Seeing through Race is a boldly original reinterpretation of the iconic photographs of the black civil rights struggle. Martin A. Berger's provocative and groundbreaking study shows how the very pictures credited with arousing white sympathy, and thereby paving the way for civil rights legislation, actually limited the scope of racial reform in the 1960s. Berger analyzes many of these famous images—dogs and fire hoses turned against peaceful black marchers in Birmingham, tear gas and clubs wielded against voting-rights marchers in Selma—and argues that white sympathy was contingent on images that displayed blacks as passive victims of active and violent whites. He argues that because white sympathy was dependent on photographs of powerless blacks, these unforgettable pictures undermined efforts to enact—or even imagine—reforms that threatened to upend the racial balance of power.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520268630
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
05/02/2011
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by David J. Garrow


Introduction: The Iconic Photographs of Civil Rights

1. The Formulas of Documentary Photography
2. White Shame, White Empathy
3. Perfect Victims and Imperfect Tactics
4. The Lost Images of Civil Rights

Epilogue: The Afterlife of Images

Notes Bibliography List of Illustrations Acknowledgments
Index

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