Roll, Jordan, Roll The Text By Julia Peterkin The Photographic Studies by Doris Ulmann. (New York: Robert O. Ballou, 1933), first trade edition, 251 pages with 71 photographs (including frontispiece) on double-sided plates, original blue cloth, dust jacket present, 8vo (6.25" x 8.75"). "Some of the charm that made the life of the old South glamorous still lingers on a few plantations that have been so cut off from the outside world by rivers, wide swamps and lack of roads they are still undisturbed by the restless present. Wistfully holding to the past when they were part of a civilization never excelled in America, they keep their backs turned to the future and persistently ignore that strange thing called progress, which so often means change without betterment." Thus opens this landmark work with text by Pulitzer Prize winning author Julia Peterkin and photographs taken by Doris Ulmann.

    Roll, Jordan, Roll was critically acclaimed as one of the first books to portray African Americans as people rather than stereotypes. W. E. B. Du Bois stated, "Peterkin is a Southern white woman, but she has the eye and the ear to see beauty and know truth." Peterkin, a South Carolina native, tells the plantation stories of the Gullahs (African Americans living along the southeast coast) with dignity, sympathy and a rare understanding of their culture. Doris Ulmann was a well-respected photographer of the period who specialized in capturing beautiful and graceful images of the same people that Peterkin wrote about. The resulting blend of text and photos gives us an artistic, yet accurate, view of the Gullah culture. Heritage sold one of the signed and numbered editions of this book earlier this year for nearly $30,000. Here's a great opportunity to own this first trade edition for a bit less. The book is in good condition with some sunning to the spine and light soiling of the covers. The photographic dust jacket has some chipping around the edges but is rarely found intact.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2005
    15th-16th Thursday-Friday
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