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Without Sanctuary.
Lynching Photography in America.

Edited by James Allen. Text by Hilton Als, John Lewis, and Leon F. Litwack.
Twin Palms, Santa Fe, USA, 1999. 212 pp., 98 four-color illustrations, 8x10".

Publisher's Description


New in publisher's shrinkwrap.

A portion of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Equal Justice Initiative.

'Many people today, despite the evidence, will not believe—don't want to believe—that such atrocities happened in America not so very long ago. These photographs bear witness to ... an American holocaust. ' — Congressman John Lewis, from his Introduction

'Without Sanctuary is a great and terrible book. It's an album of peacetime atrocities, during which hundreds of Kodaks clicked.' — Richard Lacayo, Time

'[These images] refute the notion that photographs of charged historical subjects lose their power... Instead, they send shock waves through the brain, implicating ever larger chunks of American society.' — Roberta Smith, The New York Times

The Tuskegee Institute records the lynching of 3,436 Blacks between 1882 and 1950. This is probably a small percentage of these murders, which were seldom reported, and led to the creation of the NAACP in 1909, an organization dedicated to passing federal anti-lynching laws. Through all this terror and carnage someone—many times a professional photographer—carried a camera and took pictures of the events. These lynching photographs were often made into postcards and sold as souvenirs to the crowds in attendance. These images are some of photography's most brutal, surviving to this day so that we may now look back on the terrorism unleashed on America's African-American community and perhaps know our history and ourselves better. The almost one hundred images reproduced here are a testament to the camera's ability to make us remember what we often choose to forget.

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