Robert Frank’s classic book The Americans was a seminal piece of work in a variety of ways.
In this essay, George Cotkin explores how Frank’s photographic expression was fundamentally aligned with the literary vision of Beat writers (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs et al) and their “sustained critique of the barrenness of American culture,” overlapping with “a vision of renewal and rebirth”.
As part of his thesis, Cotkin suggests that Frank saw and portrayed Black Americans in the Fifties as living an embodied form of existential freedom that far surpassed the experience of the theoretically freer White American “walking dead”…
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It takes a long time for the privileged to become aware of their own privileges. For others around them it tends to be obvious what’s going on.
This incisive piece by Matt Zoller Seitz is searingly honest about the realities of being white in America (and probably most other WASP democracies), and how society is structured to maintain racially-based privilege.
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Angela Davis is a veteran of the U.S. civil rights movement and a rare voice for collective movements for change in contemporary America. The Meaning of Freedom is a speech interrogating the reality of liberty in a society that runs on long-term institutionalised racism and has transformed both militarism and incarceration into profit-industries.
Read an extract here >>
Read a short introduction to her vision here >>
Read a new interview discussing race in America >>