What meaning does the American public attach to images of key black political, social, and cultural figures? Considering photography s role as a means of documenting historical progress, what is the representational currency of these images? Howdo racial icons signify ?
Nicole R. Fleetwood s answers to these questions will change the way you think about the next photograph that you see depicting a racial event, black celebrity, or public figure. In" On Racial Icons," Fleetwood focuses a sustained look on photography in documenting black public life, exploring the ways in which iconic images function as celebrations of national and racial progress at times or as a gauge of collective racial wounds in moments of crisis.
Offering an overview of photography s ability to capture shifting race relations, Fleetwood spotlights in each chapter a different set of iconic images in key sectors of public life. She considers flash points of racialized violence in photographs of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till; the political, aesthetic, and cultural shifts marked by the rise of pop stars such as Diana Ross; and the power and precarity of such black sports icons as Serena Williams and LeBron James; and she does not miss Barack Obama and his family along the way. "On Racial Icons" is an eye-opener in every sense of the phrase.
Images from the book. (http: //rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/pages/Fleetwood.aspx)"
On Racial Icons
Rutgers University Press
Blackness and the Public Imagination