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|Let Freedom Ring: A Pictorial Celebration of America||Share:|
Let Freedom Ring: A Pictorial Celebration of America
(Alex Haley, along with four others, was a photo contest judge for Let Freedom Ring: A Pictorial Celebration of America by the Winners of the Parade-Kodak National Photo Contest. In addition, he also wrote the below article.)
Let Freedom Ring Article By Alex Haley
Any national photographic contest that is open to all corners inevitably will produce what amounts to a mirror of not only the faces but also of the spirits or, one might even say, of the "flavor" of the populace of that country. This has been impressed upon me most powerfully as a result of my taking part in the judging of the entries for Parade magazine's "We The People Photo Contest," which was the basis for this book.
As I thumbed through stacks and stacks of photos, sorting out one after another with great reluctance—there were so many I liked so well and I hated to put them down but I had to make choices—I thought a number of times about a trip I made to an Iron Curtain country and about the pictures I had seen at a photo exhibit there. The country had recently held a contest similar to Parade's and all the photos were on display and the hosts beamed with pride at their cultural display. But the pictures were formal and postured, and the faces were staring and those that were smiling seemed to do so with uncertainty.
How different were these I was judging! They were faces, old and young and in-between, of an unfettered people, free and open and, it was clear, unafraid of taking chances.
These photographs frequently all but sang with their spontaneous laughter and happiness and gaiety. Even solemn elders often reflected a twinkle. I was, I am, very moved when I reflect that what I have "judged" is the buoyant face of America. ~ Alex Haley.
(The above article by Alex Haley is presented to our audience under the Creative Commons License. It was originally published in Let Freedom Ring: A Pictorial Celebration of America. © 1992 by Parade Publications. All Rights Reserved.)