downTown USA

downTown USA  by  Susan Madden Lankford

 

 

This book intrigued me from the start. My husband and middle son are both amateur photographers, so I knew a little about Susan Madden Lankford. Her first book in this trilogy Maggots in My Sweet Potatoes: Women Doing Time, was a powerful visual commentary on women prisoners. I was looking forward to Downtown U.S.A. as I wanted to see what her vision would be for the homeless.

 

 
The cover of Downtown U.S.A. helps set the stage for our journey through the lives of some of America‘s homeless. We start with the eyes, the windows of our souls. These eyes are just arresting, beautiful, intoxicating and at the same time frightening, scary, creepy. The eyes compelled me to open the book, I wanted more!

 

 
As I slowly made my way through this book, the combination of powerful photos and poignant stories, saddened and yet, at the same time, lifted me. I felt for each of the people photographed, the surly, the happy, the crazy, the addicted. But it wasn’t just sadness, or pity there was also amusement, joy and the biggest feeling of all, respect. Respect for these people and how they’ve coped, how they’ve shared their stories, how even with everything that life has thrown at them, they can still carry on. And respect for Susan Madden Lankford for making this beautiful book that shows how quickly life can change, and how people can survive those changes.

 

 
Filled with interviews of people such as Micheal, Papa and Mrs.Walton and filled with incredible photos, observations, and stories by Susan, this wonderfully visual and written commentary on the homeless is a must read/view! If you are a photographer, you really must view this book!

Advertisements