by VAN DER ZEE, James, Owen Dodson, and Camille Billops; Toni Morrison, foreword
Dobbs Ferry, NY: Morgan & Morgan, . First Edition. Collected post-mortem photographs taken by James Van Der Zee in Harlem morgues and funerals from approx. 1916 to 1969, many with lavish overlays of religious subjects. Most of the subjects are African-American, though he was hired to photograph a few white funerals. Includes many young children, some hit by cars, but many of whom died of pneumonia living in unheated apartments. A number, though not all, are accompanied with quite detached explanations by the photographer (pp.82-85), the most striking of which describes the death of a young female subject: "She was the one I think was shot by her sweetheart at a party with a noiseless gun. She complained of being sick at the party and friends said, 'Well, why don't you lay down?' and they taken [sic] her in the room and laid her down. After they undressed her and loosened her clothes, they saw the blood on her dress. They asked her about it and she said, 'I'll tell you tomorrow, yes, I'll tell you tomorrow.' She was just trying to give him a chance to get away" (p. 84). Text accompanying the photographs include untitled poems by Harlem Renaissance writer Owen Dodson and an interview with the photographer. With a brief foreword by the Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison. Quarto (26.5cm.); original white glossy photo-illustrated wrappers; ,85pp.; illus. throughout. Wrappers slightly edge worn, old dampstain affecting latter half of textblock with subsequent cockling, else About Very Good. (Inventory #: 27736)
The history, literature, and art of American social movements, including Civil Rights, Feminism, Labor History, Radical Politics, and Counterculture.
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