"[A] visual call for social action" (Katharine Capshaw)
I WISH I HAD AN AFRO
By John Shearer
Inscribed first printing of this photo-illustrated picture book from the "Black is beautiful" movement, but in this case through the perspective of an 11-year-old boy.
Very good in very good jacket.
I WISH I HAD AN AFRO
"They sure do dig bein' black. I wish I could be like them. I wish I had an Afro."
Shearer was already a highly acclaimed photographer when this book was published, his work exhibited at the Eastman Kodak and IBM galleries, as well as in a show at the Met. This book, part documentary, part literary biography, captures the life of a Black child growing up in Westchester, including sections from the perspectives of various family members, like his mother: "Yeah, I live in Westchester, but I'm not one of those Westchester housewives you hear so much about." The cumulative effect is a book that "react[s] against white tendencies to envision the black community through journalistic stasis" (Capshaw).
Read more: Capshaw, Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks; Rollock, Black Authors & Illustrators of Children's Books.
New York: Cowles Book Company, (1970). 10.25 x 8.25". Original light blue cloth, spine lettered in black. In original unclipped ($3.95) photographic dust jacket. Photographic endpapers. Illustrated by Shearer with black-and-white photos throughout.  pages. Inscribed by Shearer on title page: "____ / May this book bring you / pleasure / John Shearer." Faint foxing to text. Jacket with shallow edgewear and a few short closed tears.
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