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Drums of Life

Chester Higgins Jr.


DRUMS OF LIFE Doubleday/Anchor 1974 Š Chester Higgins Jr. PREFACE Photography is my way of confronting, understanding, and expressing life. I use it as a tool to preserve, and to present to others, the vibrant, positive aspects of the human experience. DRUMS OF LIFE is a revealing statement about my own personal confrontations. The images in this book reflect the positive qualities I saw in men I photographed, revealing their strength, wisdom, dignity, kindness, and power. I think the photographs show that we can be strong enough to be honest with ourselves and others; kind and considerate enough to respect other lives around us; pure enough so that others can trust us; and sincere enough so that if we lose someone we love, we can cry. I see the Drum as the number one spiritual mover in the universe. It has always been a dominant force in the heritage and culture of black people. Because of its force, we move to its power as it permeates our whole being. That life force, that ability to touch everything with power and love is what I celebrate in the lives of the Black men in this book. Chester Higgins Jr.

August 1973, New York Cover: First haircut, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1970

Macon County, Alabama, 1969


Lunch, New York City, 1972


Couple, New Brockton, 1968


Final visit, Enterprise Hospital, Alabama, 1968


A lift, Brooklyn, 1973

Sunset swing, Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, 1973

Drums of Life  

Essays on photography and cnfronting life's challenges.

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