"Documentary Photographs in John L. Spivak's Odd Amalgam of Investigative Reporting and Fictional Portrayal of Chain Gangs in 1930's Georgia" - Ronald E. Ostman and Berkley Hudson

"Documentary Photographs in John L. Spivak's Odd Amalgam of Investigative Reporting and Fictional Portrayal of Chain Gangs in 1930's Georgia" - Ronald E. Ostman and Berkley Hudson

by: Ronald E. Ostman, Berkley Hudson | publication date: January 1, 2006 | Publication: Visual Communication Quarterly |

"At ground level, the camera's eye looks into the face of a prisoner, hogtied and on hard-packed dirt. Ropes bind his hands. Straps and ropes wrap his legs. A pickaxe shoved between his arms and the backs of his knees tightens the punishment. With discomfort, he rests his close-shorn head on the dirt. He wears torn, black-and-white convict stripes. If there was a hell on earth in 1930 and 1932, then investigative journalist John Louis Spivak depicted it with a novel based on his reporting. Using straightforward photographs to authenticate Georgia Nigger, Spivak attempted to sear into the national consciousness the brutal image of chain gangs of the American South. . ."

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