Addict (drugaddict) wrote,


Leonard Freed (1929-2006) was one of the six photographers first identified as “concerned” by Cornell Capa. Like André Kertész, Werner Bischof, and Capa’s brother Robert, Freed was an artist with a deeply humanist bent—an engaged photojournalist, never a dispassionate observer. The best evidence of his concern may be his 1968 book, “Black in White America,” the subject of a timely exhibition at the Silverstein gallery. Freed travelled throughout the segregated South, but only occasionally worked the front lines of the civil-rights struggle. He was more interested in the lives of the ordinary black Americans he photographed under a gospel tent, at a beauty pageant, through the spray of a fire hydrant, or in jail. Seen today, the pictures reinforce the value (artistic, political, psychological) of Freed’s sympathetic white viewpoint while raising questions about its limitations. Much has changed, but Freed’s photographs capture something enduring: a spirit and strength that continue to remake America
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