“KEEP ON TRUCKIN’, TRUCKIN’ MY BLUES AWAY”: WHITE PERSPECTIVE ON RURAL BLACK AMERICA IN THE ‘30S AND ‘40S
LEVET, Jean-Paul. Rire pour ne pas Pleurer: le Noir dans l’Amerique Blanche [Laughin’ Just to Keep from Cryin’: Blacks in White America]. (Marseille: Éditions Parenthèses, 2002). Quarto, original white typographic paper covers. $125.
First edition of this revealing collection of 130 candid photographs of rural Black Americans during the Great Depression. “From a black perspective, this is a way of giving voice to those individuals whose day-to-day existences have long been relegated to silence, and often lost sight of.” Inscribed, “Pour Peter, Surtout pour rire. Amitici, Paul. Oklahoma City, le 23.08.03.” From the collection of acclaimed photojournalist Peter Turnley, also signed by him.
This striking and haunting compilation of photographs “gives an account of the different farm programs launched under the New Deal… [Made by white photographers] the 130 photographic images presented here were chosen to reflect the lives of Blacks in white America at the end of the 1930s and at the beginning of the 1940s. They are taken from the Farm Security Administration’s archives.” “Levet has chosen, for every shot, an appropriate line from songs by black bluesmen… The creative layout and overall design (format, paper, colors, fonts) results in a beautiful object, documenting a time when some were laughin’ just to keep from cryin” (Matthieu Jouan). From the collection of Peter Turnley, acclaimed photojournalist for Newsweek, Life and Harper’s Magazine, who has covered “almost every important international news event of the last 15 years” (New York Times), with his signature.
A fine inscribed copy, with only light soiling to rear cover.