The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women

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$30.00  $27.90
Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date
6.8 X 8.9 X 1.1 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author
Catherine E. McKinley is a curator and writer whose books include the critically acclaimed Indigo, a journey along the ancient indigo trade routes in West Africa, and The Book of Sarahs, a memoir about growing up Black and Jewish in the 1960s-80s. She's taught creative nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. The McKinley Collection, featured here, is a personal archive representing African photographies from 1870 to the present. She lives in New York City.

"[A] richly detailed and immersive visual history . . . Packed with arresting images and incisive analysis, this well-conceived survey tells a powerful story of African liberation." --Publishers Weekly

"How lucky we are that Catherine McKinley has collected this exquisite series of photographs from all corners of the African continent . . . proof of the range of beauty and elegance the world was otherwise telling us we could not possess." --Edwidge Danticat, from the Introduction

"As I slowly moved through the stunningly beautiful pages of The African Lookbook, I found myself being transported by the glorious photographs Catherine McKinley has collected. . . . We took and continue to take the skin, the pain, the fabric, the tools we have. And with all of this--as Catherine McKinley has done here--we make something as beautiful as our own selves." --Jacqueline Woodson, from the Foreword

"From young girls in Mali wearing 'hot' outfits beneath attire deemed respectable by Muslim culture to women defying Western Christianity by wearing traditional African attire to church, McKinley focuses on the ways in which fashion is a form of protest and resistance, preserving history in 'more resilient and revealing' ways than any other. The African Lookbook is an exquisite collection of African photographs and stories bearing witness to the power and grace of African women." --Booklist

"Aunty! . . . reveals photography's role as a tool or weapon when investigating identity and empowerment." --New York Times on AUNTY!

"[McKinley's] discoveries resonate, and her unique experiences provide a vivid snapshot of the cultures she encountered in Africa." --The Washington Post on INDIGO

"Gorgeous." --Los Angeles Times on INDIGO

"An eye-opening account of the controversial role this gorgeous, coveted pigment has played through the millennia." --Elle on INDIGO