This image is the cover for the book Sweet Breath of Life

Sweet Breath of Life

Words and images come together in a collaboration between celebrated poet Ntozake Shange and an acclaimed group of photographers, to result in this stunning celebration of contemporary Black life in America.

From the first publication of The Sweet Flypaper of Life by Langston Hughes and Roy DeCarava in 1967, to Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, collaborations between writers and photographers have been important in African American culture. These books examine the issues of identity and representation that have been so central to this group's efforts to thrive.

The Kamoinge Workshop photographers who contributed their work to this inspiring collection consist of names that have appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and more. Names such as Anthony Barboza, Adger W. Cowans, Ming Smith Murray, Beuford Smith, John Pinderhuges, and many others. The Workshop’s mission was a response from the bias portrayals of African Americans in the media. They sought to shed positive light on their subjects, as well as to demystify Black life in America. And The Sweet Breath of Life does exactly that.

Ntozake Shange, Frank Stewart, Kamoinge Inc.

Frank Stewart has been a journalist, editor, speaker, educator, author, and award-winning photographer. He has contributed to Sweet Swing Blues: On the Road a Year with Wynton Marsalis and His SeptetThe Sweet Breath of Life, and Tyranny Lessons.