RICHARD PRINCE’S JOURNAL-ISMS
15 for the Holidays
December 13, 2004
Richard Prince's Book Notes™: Book-Buying Season
A number of black journalists have been toiling away at nonfiction books throughout the year, in hopes that when book-buying season approaches, they'll be remembered. Here is some of their work of special interest to journalists of color.
Chester Higgins Jr.
Chester Higgins Jr., a photographer at the New York Times since 1975, offers "Echo of the Spirit: A Photographer's Journey" (Doubleday, $29.95), his sixth book.
"This is a story about my life as a photographer, my growth as an artist, and my search for individual and collective identity, and about how the Spirit has come to influence this process," Higgins writes in this coffee-table book of text and black-and-white photos. The first half is a retrospective of his childhood, which includes a time as a child preacher in New Brockton, Ala., as well as his career. The second section recounts his adult journeys, including his visits to Africa.
On his Web site, Higgins, 58, says that "Civil rights was the catalyst that started me photographing. Photography came into my life as I was becoming more and more aware that one did not have to accept racism — one could fight it. I began to see photography as a vehicle for my own personal growth.
". . . Because the positive in the African American community is not being looked at enough, I concentrate on what is neglected and goes unseen. I am not needed to tell the negative part of the story because so many people tell it so well. The negative point of view has a purpose, as does the positive. The negative can encourage humanitarians to make change. But I believe that real, lasting change comes from within. I want to provide a positive model — to show what can be and inspire change from within."