Friday Reads: Unseen: Unpublished Black History


“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 



On this final Friday of Black History Month, Friday Reads is highlighting Unseen:  Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives by Times photo editor, Darcy Eveleigh, and three colleagues, Dana Canedy, Damien Cave and Rachel L. Swarns.  The book is born from the highly popular New York Times series, “Unpublished Black History,” that ran in February, 2016 both in print and online.  “It garnered millions of views on The Times website and thousands of comments from readers,” the inside flap states.  Eveleigh discovered dozens of unpublished photos of black history in The Times archive and together with Canedy, Cave and Swarns researched the back stories.

Unseen showcases those photographs and digs even deeper into The Times’s archives to include 175 photographs and stories behind them in this extraordinary collection.  Among the entries is a 27-year-old Jesse Jackson leading an anti-discrimination rally in Chicago; Rosa Parks arriving at a Montgomery courthouse in Alabama; a candid shot of Aretha Franklin backstage at the Apollo Theater; Ralph Ellison on the streets of his Manhattan neighborhood; the fire-bombed home of Malcom X; Myrlie Evers and her children at the funeral of her slain husband, Medgar; a wheelchair-bound Roy Campanella at the razing of Ebbets Field; a behind-the-scenes- photo shoot with Arthur A. Mitchell, cofounder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and his principal dancers; images of peaceful and organized demonstrators at Resurrection City in 1968 that contrast the photographs of disorder and theft dominating the coverage of the time; and  series by Don Hogan Charles, the first black photographer hired by The Times, capturing life in Harlem in the 1960s.” (Inner flap).

This book can be found on the new nonfiction book shelf with call number 973.0496 UNS


Pictured:  cover and pps. 96-97 “Arthur Mitchell, Dancing Through Barriers”

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