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The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family

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"Words and images come together in this collaboration between poet Ntozake Shange and Kamoinge Inc., a group of photographers whose work documents and celebrates the African-American experience." In 1963, Roy DeCarava - renowned photographer and first president of the Kamoinge Workshop - set the aesthetic and philosophical tone of the group in response to biased representa "Words and images come together in this collaboration between poet Ntozake Shange and Kamoinge Inc., a group of photographers whose work documents and celebrates the African-American experience." In 1963, Roy DeCarava - renowned photographer and first president of the Kamoinge Workshop - set the aesthetic and philosophical tone of the group in response to biased representations of African Americans in the media. As image-makers, the Kamoinge members have sought to shed positive light on their subjects, and to demystify Black life in America. With images from such acclaimed photographers as Anthony Barboza, Adger W. Cowans, Ming Smith Murray, and poems by Ntozake Shange, The Sweet Breath of Life is a book destined to become a classic work of American photography and literature.


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"Words and images come together in this collaboration between poet Ntozake Shange and Kamoinge Inc., a group of photographers whose work documents and celebrates the African-American experience." In 1963, Roy DeCarava - renowned photographer and first president of the Kamoinge Workshop - set the aesthetic and philosophical tone of the group in response to biased representa "Words and images come together in this collaboration between poet Ntozake Shange and Kamoinge Inc., a group of photographers whose work documents and celebrates the African-American experience." In 1963, Roy DeCarava - renowned photographer and first president of the Kamoinge Workshop - set the aesthetic and philosophical tone of the group in response to biased representations of African Americans in the media. As image-makers, the Kamoinge members have sought to shed positive light on their subjects, and to demystify Black life in America. With images from such acclaimed photographers as Anthony Barboza, Adger W. Cowans, Ming Smith Murray, and poems by Ntozake Shange, The Sweet Breath of Life is a book destined to become a classic work of American photography and literature.

30 review for The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Beautiful pictures that remind me of growing up in Harlem. poetic verses are true to Ntozake Shange’s unique style

  2. 5 out of 5

    Servane

    Simply gorgeous prose poems and straight forward empathetic black and white photography. Beautiful book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bonny

    This is a beautiful book full of captivation and inspiring photographs, accompanied with poems by Ntozake Shange. I am not usually a fan of colloquial poetry, but most of Shange's poems are thoughtful musings in a voice well suited to the images. One photo of a man waiting forlornly in a crumpled white jacket, holding a bouquet of rough cut roses with a look of longing on his face, becomes all the more endearing with the following: i'm still holdin those roses i promised you the train must be late This is a beautiful book full of captivation and inspiring photographs, accompanied with poems by Ntozake Shange. I am not usually a fan of colloquial poetry, but most of Shange's poems are thoughtful musings in a voice well suited to the images. One photo of a man waiting forlornly in a crumpled white jacket, holding a bouquet of rough cut roses with a look of longing on his face, becomes all the more endearing with the following: i'm still holdin those roses i promised you the train must be late but i'ma wait on you anyway i promised you not to let you down/ not this time i'll keepa holdt to this bouquet till your cheek is next to mine & where we are is simply fragile as another petal of the bouquet that's really what I want from you tenderness The photographs are stunning. One of my favorites is of a pregnant woman frolicking in a thunderstorm naked on a building rooftop. I looked through this many times and will come back to it again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shila

    Must have coffee table book and a great gift. Actually it's more than coffee table, it highlights an experience. Keep it by the bed, use it for inspiration. Few word and the pics speak volumes. Must have coffee table book and a great gift. Actually it's more than coffee table, it highlights an experience. Keep it by the bed, use it for inspiration. Few word and the pics speak volumes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Colin

    A beautiful collection of images, some of which inspire and are accompanied by Ntozake Shange's gorgeous poetry. A beautiful collection of images, some of which inspire and are accompanied by Ntozake Shange's gorgeous poetry.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rogene Carter

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamespc

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

  12. 4 out of 5

    Simone

  13. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  14. 5 out of 5

    KIRSTEN SNYDER

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joshunda Sanders

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paul Mathis

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jamarow

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Humburg

  19. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  20. 4 out of 5

    LaLa

  21. 4 out of 5

    PJ

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liana

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Inda

  26. 4 out of 5

    zingha.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Serene

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lynda M

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shaun White

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zarily

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