Separate, but Equal: The Mississippi Photographs of Henry Clay Anderson

Overview

An extraordinary photographic record of life under segregation, now with a new cover and special price to mark the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

As the nation reflects on the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling against "separate, but equal," this remarkable book of photographs reveals the realities of segregated life for urban blacks in the South. Henry Clay Anderson established Anderson Photo Service in Greenville, Mississippi in 1948. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, ...

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New York, NY 2002 Hard cover First edition. Full number line as stated on copyright page New in new dust jacket. As new in as new DJ, condition no issues. Gift Condition. ... Unread, Original $35.00 price is unclipped. First edition. With an essay by Clifton L. Taulbert. Glued binding. Paper over boards. 160 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

An extraordinary photographic record of life under segregation, now with a new cover and special price to mark the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

As the nation reflects on the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling against "separate, but equal," this remarkable book of photographs reveals the realities of segregated life for urban blacks in the South. Henry Clay Anderson established Anderson Photo Service in Greenville, Mississippi in 1948. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, he photographed this relatively prosperous black community, recording the daily lives of the men and women who built the schools, churches, and hospitals that served their segregated society. His photographs of subjects ranging from family gatherings to nightclub musicians have strong political overtones.

In his accompanying essay, writer Clifton Taulbert guides us through the photographs, recalling his own memories of Greenville. The book also contains an interview with the late photographer and an essay on the political climate at the time. Together, these materials create a window into a world that has been overlooked in the aftermath of the civil rights movement—a community of prosperous, optimistic black Southerners who considered themselves first-class Americans despite living in a deeply segregated world.

Author Biography: Henry Clay Anderson (1911-1998) studied photography on the G. I. Bill and ran Anderson Photo Service. A lifelong activist for social change, he recorded every aspect of life in Greenville until his death in 1998. Clifton Taulbert is the author of eight books, including Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored. Shawn Wilson, who discovered the trove of Anderson photographs, is creating a documentary film on Greenville, where he was born and raised.

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Editorial Reviews

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In the late 1940s, Henry Clay Anderson (1911–98) opened the Anderson Photo Service in Greenville, Mississippi. Trained in his craft under the G.I. Bill, he was a typical small-town photographer, taking pictures of proms and funerals and public celebration. Only one circumstance was different: He and his relatively prosperous clients were African Americans living in a segregated city. This collection of 95 photographs from Anderson's long career gives us a new view of a rich, dignified society created at great human cost.
Choice
deserves a wide readership for its high quality production and the visual documentation of the black middle class.
Miami Herald
The 130 photos here are historical documents of a special sort...The stories [Anderson] tells with his camera are worth revisiting.
2002.
Publishers Weekly
"I received my first camera when I was about nine years old," Anderson writes in one of the five essays accompanying this collection of his work. "I tried to catch pictures of people, cats, trees, houses, whatever was interesting to me as a little boy." After studying photography on the GI Bill, Anderson opened a studio in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1948. This slim volume presents 130 or so straightforward but affecting photos of a conservative, respectable, and separate African-American world during the Jim Crow years. Anderson documents children in their Sunday best, a postman, a majorette, a white-frocked girl posing next to a birthday cake with six candles, teenaged bathing beauties parading in front of a crowd, a group shot of the Rabbit Foot Minstrels ("The Greatest Colored Show on Earth") and weddings and funerals. The pictures show a way of life that, for obvious reasons, will not inspire nostalgia, but which certainly had its share of dignity and beauty. And to young would-be photographers, Anderson advised: "Try to show not the picture only, but show the person who had the ambition. And if he's showing it, he shows himself." (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Anderson (1911-98), who lived through segregation and then the Civil Rights Movement, captured the experience in photographs. Taken from the 1940s to the 1960s, the 130 striking black-and-white images presented here sum up the black experience through the daily acts of Greenville, MS, residents as they march, attend church, and relax. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586480929
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 9/26/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.38 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Meeting Mr. Anderson 2
Pictures Made Any Time, Any Place, Any Size 10
As If We Were There ... Remembering Greenville 24
The Photographs 66
H. C. Anderson and the Civil Rights Struggle 120
"A Fearsome Night" 132
Appendixes 136
Map of Mississippi 137
Timeline of Anderson's Life and the Civil Rights Movement 138
The Anderson Photo Service Project 142
List of illustrations 144
Acknowledgments 148
Index 150
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2002

    Truly a profound discovery

    Separate, But Equal brings to light a vibrant black middle class during legal segregation in the heart of Mississippi. So often we hear of only poverty an oppression. This book provides insight to individuals who overcame prejudice and segregation to better themselves. It is a tale of the triumph of the human spirit!

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