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The first publication of photographs taken by Ernest Cole in the United States during the turbulent and eventful late 1960s and early 1970s.

After fleeing South Africa to publish his landmark book House of Bondage (1967) on the horrors of apartheid, Cole resettled in New York. He photographed extensively on the streets of New York City and documented Black communities in cities and rural areas of the United States--traveling across the country in the months leading up to and just after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The pictures reflect both a newfound freedom Cole experienced in America and an incisive eye for the inequalities of systemic racism. He released very few images from this body of work while he was alive, and the pictures were thought to be lost entirely until the negatives resurfaced in Sweden in 2017. This treasure trove provides an important window into American society and establishes Cole's place in the history of American photography.


Ernest Cole (born in Transvaal, South Africa, 1940; died in New York, 1990) is best known for House of Bondage, a photobook published in 1967 that chronicles the horrors of apartheid. After fleeing South Africa in 1966, he became a "banned person," settling in New York. He was associated with Magnum Photos and received funding from the Ford Foundation to undertake a project looking at Black communities and cultures in the United States. Cole spent an extensive time in Sweden and became involved with the Tiofoto collective. He died at age forty-nine of cancer. In 2017, more than six thousand of Cole's negatives--missing for more than forty years--resurfaced in Sweden.


  • Publisher: Aperture
  • Publish Date: January 06, 2024
  • Pages: 312
  • Dimensions: 8.7 X 11.7 X 1.2 inches | 3.95 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9781597115346
  • BISAC Categories: History, Individual Photographers - Monographs, Photoessays & Documentaries, United States - General
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