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 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.
Category Archives: Books
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
“All God’s Dangers” is an all but forgotten but critically important sharecropper’s story that won a National Book Award in 1975.
It is an oral history of an illiterate black Alabama sharecropper. Its author, the man who compiled it from extensive interviews, was writer Theodore Rosengarten.
“There are only a few American autobiographies of surpassing greatness….Now there is another one, Nate Shaw’s.” — The New York Times
“Extraordinarily rich and compelling…possesses the same luminous power we associate with Faulkner…the same marvelous idiom, the same wry, sardonic humor…[it] will stun the listener-reader, hold him in its grip, and never really quite let go of him? — Washington Post
“Eloquent and revelatory. When, finally, this big book is put down, one feels exhilarated. This is an anthem to human endurance.” — Studs Terkel, New Republic –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
All God's Dangers won the National Book Award in 1975.
"On a cold January morning in 1969, a young white graduate student from Massachusetts, stumbling along the dim trail of a long-defunct radical organization of the 1930s, the Alabama Sharecropper Union, heard that there was a survivor and went looking for him. In a rural settlement 20 miles or so from Tuskegee in east-central Alabama he found him—the man he calls Nate Shaw—a black man, 84 years old, in full possession of every moment of his life and every facet of its meaning. . . . Theodore Rosengarten, the student, had found a black Homer, bursting with his black Odyssey and able to tell it with awesome intellectual power, with passion, with the almost frightening power of memory in a man who could neither read nor write but who sensed that the substance of his own life, and a million other black lives like his, were the very fiber of the nation's history." —H. Jack Geiger, New York Times Book Review