12 Million Black Voices

Million Black Voices Million Black Voices first published in combines Wright s prose with startling photographs selected by Edwin Rosskam from the Security Farm Administration files compiled during the Great Dep

  • Title: 12 Million Black Voices
  • Author: Richard Wright Noel Ignatiev David Bradley
  • ISBN: 9781560254461
  • Page: 444
  • Format: Paperback
  • 12 Million Black Voices, first published in 1941, combines Wright s prose with startling photographs selected by Edwin Rosskam from the Security Farm Administration files compiled during the Great Depression The photographs include works by such giants as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Arthur Rothstein From crowded, rundown farm shacks to Harlem storefront churches, t12 Million Black Voices, first published in 1941, combines Wright s prose with startling photographs selected by Edwin Rosskam from the Security Farm Administration files compiled during the Great Depression The photographs include works by such giants as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Arthur Rothstein From crowded, rundown farm shacks to Harlem storefront churches, the photos depict the lives of black people in 1930s America their misery and weariness under rural poverty, their spiritual strength, and their lives in northern ghettos Wright s accompanying text eloquently narrates the story of these 90 pictures and delivers a powerful commentary on the origins and history of black oppression in this country Also included are new prefaces by Douglas Brinkley, Noel Ignatiev, and Michael Eric Dyson Among all the works of Wright, 12 Million Black Voices stands out as a work of poetry, passion, and of love David Bradley A eloquent statement of its kind could hardly have been devised The New York Times Book Review

    One thought on “12 Million Black Voices”

    1. interesting use of photos and narrative but wright leaves the women out. forreal. that's why it's a three.

    2. I love the texture of this book – the language style, the images, the way history is encapsulated – Bosses of the Buildings, Lords of the Lands – all of that. It’s a history, personal and collective, of the transformations of the Great Migration.It’s interesting how Wright is coming from so clearly a masculine angle. He has this section on Reconstruction and he argues that women did better than men, essentially because they already had a relative position of power in the old slave stru [...]

    3. Every word Wright wrote in this novel exists not to be read, but to be soaked up, felt, repeated. His tantalizing prose produces countless quotable passages with meaning too deep to understand without focused reflection. The book is short, but the message is clear, strong.

    4. I really enjoyed this book. Wright uses photographs taken during the WPA of Roosevelt's New Deal to write a paean to African Americans leaving the South post-slavery and sharecropping to discover the kitchenettes of Northern cities during the Great Migration. The point of view in the book is written from "We" and the present tense, not "I discovered" or "I learned that" or "they", so it reads like a mass of black people describing their various experiences as a part of one larger experience that [...]

    5. I really enjoyed Wright's writing style and the photographs that accompanied his prose were thought provoking. It was interesting to see the ways in which the narrative and the photos worked together to produce a history that is true and heartbreaking.Some of Wright's stances and rhetoric were troubling to me, as he clearly didn't value women the same way he valued men, however, I'm willing to overlook it for the most part because of the time period and because it was not starkly offensive - jus [...]

    6. Richard Wright of Native Son lore, is one of the FEW literary geniuses who could pull off a sociological/historic treatise as he does, combining poetical prose with factual statistics. THE PICTURES OMG! This book truly brought me back to that era without ever having lived in it. Truly a classic and a nice warm-up for those learning of not just "Black History" but AMERICAN History. Vets of history will enjoy this as well.

    7. Richard Wright's 12 Million Black Voices, first published in 1941, is an impassioned essay on the African-American experience: the highs and lows, the triumph and the tragedy, from slavery to Emancipation and sharecropping, to the great Northern migration and life in the urban ghetto. One wouldn't think it possible to distill over two hundred years of African-American life into roughly seventy pages of text, and in such a beautifully poetic manner, but Wright succeeds brilliantly.

    8. Interesting photo essay concerning the lives and conditions that African Americans were forced to live in during the earlier part of the 20th century. It was fascinating to see how different photo journalists depict different situations.

    9. Wow. Life-changing. Granted I am reading it for grad school, but amazing. For the sheer talent in the photography alone, this book should be picked up. Richard Wright, as amazing as any author, uses words so full of power, one cannot close the book without shedding a tear.

    10. Compelling photographs and fluid language make this quasi-propagandist parable of the African American experience a pleasure to read, though its toeing of the Communist party line threatens to turn the simplicity of its prose against it.

    11. A brilliant group "autobiography" of African Americans, from the Middle Passage through the early decades of the Great Migration.

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