Edited by Cay Sophie Rabinowitz
Essays by William Cordova and Joanna Fernández
168 pages, hardcover, $50
Published by OSMOS
Over a few years in the late 1960s, musician, photographer and activist Bev Grant photographed the full spectrum of US protest movements—antiwar rallies, women’s liberation protests, civil rights marches, revolutionary actions and anti-imperialist demonstrations—as a contributor to Liberation News Service, a “sort of radical underground Associated Press,” as she described it, and as a member of Newsreel, an activist filmmaker collective. Grant covered garbage-dumping protests organized by the Young Lords and the New York Radical Women’s protest against the Miss America Pageant, which featured a live sheep. She traveled to Cuba for the anniversary of the revolution, photographing Fidel Castro alongside schoolchildren and farm workers. But her most memorable photos are more intimate, depicting what went on behind public-facing events in unguarded images made during meetings or on bus rides to the protest.
Pairing her photographs with her recollections, the book hints at the struggles for power within movements. But her photographs also present a surprising record of racial diversity in these groups, providing “evidence of radical approaches to racial coalition,” writes William Cordova. There are Black, White and Latino children eating together in the Black Panther Party’s free breakfast program. At a Connecticut protest in support of imprisoned Black Panther members, Grant photographed women of all races and recalls seeing “so many women, seemingly so interconnected, carrying each other’s signs and shouting each other’s slogans.” Grant’s photographs are a reminder of the complexity of the era, as well as the optimism. —Rebecca Robertson