Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Reading 2014 Controversy and Hope: The Civil Rights Photographs of James Karales


Our school library is fortunate enough to have the Picturing America collection that includes the iconic photo by Karales of the Selma to Montgomery March. When I learned that there was a book about his photos of the Civil Rights Movement, I was very interested. Having just finished it, I can say it lived up to and exceeded my expectations. Not only does the book share some very powerful photos (and you may want to keep a box of tissues handy), but it also tells about the man behind the camera. The explanation of his decision to become a photographer and the choices that led him to be present at such pivotal moments in history is just as captivating as the images. Some of my favorite photos are the one where Dr. King is talking to Yolanda about why she cannot go to the amusement park (I had read about that event, but didn't know there was a photo) and the one from the March of John Lewis and Sister Mary Leoline hand in hand.

This is an excellent book to use with studies of the Civil Rights, but also for illustrating the power of media and photography to convey a message and preserve history. I want to add a copy to our school's library because of all the rich discussions it could spark.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It was published May 15, 2013.

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