Monday, May 08, 2006

American Pictures

Funny, I just had the brilliant idea to see if Jacob Holdt ever put anything on the internet. I read his book probably 15 years ago and was as deeply affected by it as by anything, any piece of literature or movie or painting I have ever witnessed. It had already been out of print some 10 years when I read it. I think his website might be even better. Sorry no slick graphics...

This presentation is difficult, for the pain we witness is our own deeper pain and insecurity. The more personal pain people in my audience are in, I find, the less can they usually relate to other people's pain - and endure this presentation. But if we dare not confront the dark sides in ourselves, we all too easily act them out in displaced anger.
I am posting this today in hopes that a few of you might spend the hours his subject matter requires and also because I am fed up with the invisibility that is being forced upon us. This was possibly the most censored book in US history. Would love to know what you think.


  1. Wow. I have never even heard of this book or work. Its something. You're right, it will take hours to really see and feel all that is here. As a southern white going back generations, I feel a deep and chilling affinity for a lot of this. I'm reminded of people I knew through church and people that are still in direct proximity to my parents. These people haunt me often. These are old pictures, but some of them - at least the rural ones, don't look so dated to me. That's the ugly truth. Rural poverty may be the gravest fate for an American because no one wants you - not even progressives. Not sure if that's a universal or particularly American attitude.
    Funny how poverty suspends time and how people that have so much in common hate each other because that's the only thing they can find to justify their neglected existance - hate. God we have a lot to learn about loving our neighbor and seeing the reality of crimes against people of color and poor whites.

  2. It's hard to put into words what I think.
    I am at work and I am on chapter 7: "the slave camps"
    What an eye opener. Thanks for posting this.

  3. I've never heard about this project/book either, and I'm really happy you posted this. It is such an important work and document. I'm on chapter 4.

    ps - hi kathy!

  4. Hi Art Powerlines. I miss YOU