ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more) 

Google
 

Online with PayPal

Or Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048  Help Save ChickenBones

this groundbreaking tome features a rainbow of African-American females

in terms of color, shape, size and age, and not just ones

who meet a shallow Eurocentric standard of beauty

 

 

Women of a New Tribe

A Photographic Celebration of the Black Woman

By Jerry Taliaferro

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

African-American females have had a very difficult history: from slavery to racism to poverty. Although slavery has been abolished in this country, and we are working on eradicating racism and poverty, in the 21st Century, African-American females face one of the most difficult hurdles we have ever had to face: a severe lack of self-respect.

We have allowed the media to make us believe that we must have straight hair, light skin, thin bodies and ’European’ features to be considered beautiful. This book is not only an opportunity to reaffirm to all black women that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by God, but also an opportunity for everyone to see the emotions and beauty Jerry Taliaferro wrought through his camera lens.”—Cheryl A. M. Waymer, mother and model, as excerpted from the Foreword (pg. 7)

 

“These beautiful women have always been around us. They are our wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. We can see the beauty in them if just try. Perhaps in seeing their beauty, we will come to see what makes a woman truly beautiful… Just maybe we will come to understand that real beauty is more than that which can be seen. Real beauty is that which lifts us, real beauty touches our hearts.”—Jerry Taliaferro in the Preface (pg. 10)

Jerry Taliaferro is a West Point graduate who turned to photography full-time after leaving the military in 1988 following a decorated career in the service as a Special Forcers Officer. Over the intervening years, he has met with considerable success at his true calling, though devoting most of his attention to commercial assignments.

Recently, however, after preparing a single portrait of an African-American female originally intended simply to serve as a sample in his portfolio, Jerry was struck by the fact that “Very little attention had been paid to the beauty of the black woman. The black woman was almost invisible.” So, he came up with the novel idea of portraying sisters in a glamorous style from the Forties reminiscent of the classic, black and white fashion shoots of such classic Hollywood actresses as Greta Garbo and Katherine Hepburn.

The upshot of his efforts is an enchanting, emotionally-engaging and spiritually-stimulating masterpiece entitled Women of a New Tribe: A Photographic Celebration of the Black Woman. Taliaferro proves himself to be quite a gifted artist behind the camera with this eclectic collection of over 100 photos. For the images contained on the pages of this oversized, coffee table book achieve far more than merely capturing each model’s physical beauty. No, the pictures also magically reveal an intimate aspect of the subjects’ souls as well.

It is noteworthy that this groundbreaking tome features a rainbow of African-American females in terms of color, shape, size and age, and not just ones who meet a shallow Eurocentric standard of beauty. “What about the jet black goddess with skin like glass, the caramel toned Amazon or the Great-Grandmother whose beauty defies time?” the author asks in the Introduction. “This book is an attempt to see them too.”  

Indeed, a timely and overdue homage which wonderfully elevates and illustrates both the inner and outer beauty of all sisters, a segment of society generally taken for granted, if not denigrated by the mainstream culture.

posted  27 August 2007

*   *   *   *   *

Where can I find the book?" has been a constant request since the WOMEN OF A NEW TRIBE exhibition premiered in Charlotte NC in June 2002. This exhibition which has been called a "stunning" and "spectacular" collection of black and white photography is the source of a book that is destined to become a collector's item. This book is more than a homage to the physical and spiritual beauty of the black woman it is an experience.

An experience in seeing in a new way and in a new light. Blue Greenberg of the Durham Herald-Sun wrote, "Taliaferro turns our ideas of stereotypical beauty upside down...". Rarely has the black woman been portrayed in such a manner, WOMEN OF A NEW TRIBE presents its subjects in way normally reserved for the great icons of feminine beauty like Garbo and Crawford.

Through the use of large format black and white photography and a style that harkens back to the great glamour photography of 1930's and 1940's Hollywood the beauty of black women is lain bare. The meticulously "built" images echoes the works of such photographers as George Hurrell, Sinclair Bull and Laszlo Wilinger. If the book I DREAM A WORLD celebrated black women who changed America then WOMEN OF A NEW TRIBE honors the black women we see around us everyday. It is a magnificent tribute to our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends.—Publisher

*   *   *   *   *

Jerry Taliaferro was born in the small southern town of Brownsville, Tennessee. After graduating high school in May 1972, he joined the Army. Almost a year later he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated four years later as a member of the Class of 1977. His real interest in photography began when he was posted to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for the Special Forces Officers Course in 1981. While serving in Germany, his interest photography continued to grow and in 1985 he was published for the first time when a Munich magazine purchased the rights to one of his images. After returning to the United States in the Summer of 1985, Jerry began doing assignments for advertising and design firms. In July 1988, he left the military and began his pursuit of a career in commercial photography. Over the ensuing years, his interest turned more to fine art photography. This change in direction has resulted in several projects and published pieces. His one-man exhibition Women Of A New Tribe premiered at the Afro-American Cultural Center in Charlotte NC on 14 June 2002 and is now a traveling exhibit. http://www.blackartphotoart.com/

*   *   *   *   *

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

*   *   *   *   *

Age of Silver: Encounters with Great Photographers

By John Loengard

Age of Silver is iconic American photographer John Loengard’s ode to the art form to which he dedicated his life. Loengard, a longtime staff photographer and editor for LIFE magazine and other publications, spent years documenting modern life for the benefit of the American public. Over the years he trained his camera on dignitaries, artists, athletes, intellectuals, blue and whitecollar workers, urban and natural landscapes, manmade objects, and people of all types engaged in the act of living. In Age of Silver, Loengard gathers his portraits of some of the most important photographers of the last half-century, including Annie Leibovitz, Ansel Adams, Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and many, many others. Loengard caught them at home and in the studio; posed portraits and candid shots of the artists at work and at rest.   Complimenting these revealing, expertly composed portraits are elegant photographs of the artists holding their favorite or most revered negatives. This extra dimension to the project offers an inside peek at the artistic process and is a stark reminder of the physicality of the photographic practice at a time before the current wave of digital dominance. There is no more honest or faithful reproduction of life existent in the world of image making than original, untouched silver negatives.   Far from an attempt to put forth a singular definition of modern photographic practice, this beautifully printed, duotone monograph instead presents evidence of the unique vision and extremely personal style of every artist pictured. Annie Leibovitz is quoted in her caption as once saying, “I am always perplexed when people say that a photograph has captured someone. A photograph is just a piece of them in a moment. It seems presumptuous to think you can get more than that.” —PowerhouseBooks

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

 

 

 

update 2 March 2012

 

 

 

Home  Literature & Arts

Related files: Ernest Withers  / Carrie Mae Weems  /  Julian Dimock  / Jerry Taliaferro  / Spring Ulmer   J. Nash Porter  / The Willie Harris Collection  /  Eugene Redmond