Let’s end our week of commentary on September 11, 2001 with some images. Visualizing and re-visualizing shape our memories differently than describing and talking. Poetry, photography, and song open up different dimensions to understanding the past. Images keep the past present in different ways as well.
The passion for recording our lives, fostered today by the availability of simple digital cameras and posting sites like Flickr, has a long history. African American leaders very early on understood the uses of photography for both self-expression and political struggle. Leigh Raiford notes, in her book Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle, that Sojourner Truth supported her cause by selling photos of herself at lectures and Frederick Douglass wanted to use photography to portray black life more accurately.