Village Voice Review

LaToya Ruby Frazier: A Tenant Farm for the 21st Century

Self Portrait (March 10 a.m.) 2009 ©LaToya Ruby Frazier

The Village Voice
By Christian Viveros-Faune
Apr 3, 2013


The mother of all Great Depression books, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, grew out of a Time magazine assignment. Accepting it were two young artistes, James Agee and Walker Evans, who agreed to produce a “photographic and verbal record of the daily living and environment of an average white family of tenant farmers.” Their boss, Henry Luce, wanted a tidy piece of objective journalism; what he got was a 495-page tome that blew away traditional forms of photographic and written reportage. It was also, in Agee’s beatific parlance, “an independent inquiry into certain normal predicaments of human divinity.”