Best Coffee Table Books

Best Coffee Table Books
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 18, 2010

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If you’re looking for the perfect conversation piece that celebrates Black beauty, look not further than "Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present by Deborah Willis, a collection of electrifying images of Black icons like Madame C.J. Walker, Serena Williams and Josephine Baker.

Buy it on Amazon.

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Brooklyn-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley is known for his large and vibrant portraits of African American men in renaissance-era poses. In this glossy coffee table tome Wiley presents a stunning visual portfolio of brothers you might expect to see in hip hop videos.
Buy it at PowerHouse Books.

3 of 9

The 200-full color illustrations in “Satchmo…”—authored by Steven Brower and Hilton Als—are part jazz history lesson, part biography of the life of New Orleans’ favorite son. You’ll love getting a personal peek into Satchmo’s colorful life through collages, scrapbooks and artworks.

Buy it at Abrams Books.

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Whatever you may think of Kanye, you can’t accuse him of following the crowd. Featuring gorgeous photographs—by collaborator Nabil Elderkin—Kanye goes straight-up futuristic, with striking 3-D images from his ‘Glow in the Dark’ tour and a sneak peek inside his world.
Buy it on Amazon.

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Author Richard J. Powell’s “Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture” is a powerful look at race, gender and sexuality and how the Black body is represented in consumer culture and fashion.
Buy it at Target.

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Photographer Calvin Littlejohn was the visual chronicler of Fort Worth, Texas’ thriving African American community from the 50’s onwards. Featuring everyday African American life during the Jim Crow era, Littlejohn shot everything from nursing schools to Black-only restaurants. You’ll love being a witness to so much style.
Buy it at Powell’s Books.

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Like Calvin Littlejohn’s chronicle of Forth Worth, you will love seeing how African Americans in Memphis went about their daily lives with style and flair. Art history professor Earnestine chronicles the social workers, teachers and barbers of Jim Crow era African Americans.
Buy it at Barnes and Noble.

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You’ll absolutely love flipping through celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes’ gigantic beauty tome and seeing how he transforms regular women into glamazons. Barnes also dishes on his celeb clients and ho you can get the looks at home.

Buy it at Amazon.

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Photographer Ron Galella was one of the first paparazzo on the celebrity scene in the 80’s. In this glossy oversized silver-adorned primer on Michael’s disco days, Galella captures the King of Pop with all his celebrity friends in the heyday of New York nightclub, Studio 54.
Take a sneak peek inside the book.


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