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  • The Image is You edited by Donald Erceg and Text by Robert Coles
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The Image is You edited by Donald Erceg and Text by Robert Coles

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Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1969. First Edition. Hardcover. 102 pages ; b/w photographs ; 26 cm. $4.95 dust jacket. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!

THE IMAGE IS YOU is a book of two parts. The first comprises a . group of forty photographs taken by Negro children who live in Boston's inner city. The second is an essay by Robert Coles written to these photographs which includes verbatim reports by blacks from the same area. Side by side, the pictures and words achieve a direct and unembellished representation of the mood of the urban black community by its children and by its adults.

The photographs were made with small Polaroid Swinger cameras. Aside from enlargement and sequencing, they appear exactly as the children pulled them from
their cameras. The subjects were chosen without adult direction, the compositions are instinctive and natural. The results you see could not have been achieved by outside photographers —-- amateur or professional. They are the valuable by-product of total acceptance of and by the subjects.

So it is with the transcripts in Dr. Coles' essay. The words are from the heart of poverty and abandonment and frustration and yet, like the children's photographs, they preserve an intrinsic dignity and a sense of vibrant life. These, as Dr. Coles points out, are the forces it is nearly impossible for the professional reporter — be he literary or scientific — to catch and transmit intact.

The combination of pictures and words in this book is a document of spirited accuracy which does not often see print. Look and listen with care. The image is you.