Jan. 6, 2022
William Abranowicz’s This Far and No Further has been selected by Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as one of the top books of 2021 that explore America’s heritage of diversity. Abranowicz’s book was published by the University of Texas Press in the Briscoe Center’s Focus on American History series, and the photos included in the book are part of the center’s collections.
On her book selections, Ifill notes, “At this pivotal time in America, we are compelled to open that narrative power and avenue of information to understand our present and past, our lived realities and collective history.” The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.
“With her recommendation, Ifill spotlights the importance of Abranowicz’s photos as evidence of our shared history,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center and editor of the Focus on American History series. “With his compelling photos of civil rights landscapes and leaders, Abranowicz gives the reader new insights into our national struggle over voting rights. These photos hold the power to illuminate our past, the very reason we were so excited to have This Far and No Further in our book series and to add these photos to our extensive civil rights and social justice holdings.”
This Far and No Further: Photographs Inspired by the Voting Rights Movement is a collection of photographs from Abranowicz’s journey through the American South. Standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 2017, the photographer was struck by the weight of historical memory at this hallowed site of one of the civil rights movement’s defining episodes: 1965’s “Bloody Sunday,” when Alabama police officers attacked peaceful marchers.
Coupled with an awareness of renewed voter suppression efforts at state and federal levels, Abranowicz was inspired to explore the living legacy of the civil and voting rights movement through photographing locations, landscapes, and individuals associated with the struggle, from Rosa Parks and Harry Belafonte to the barn where Emmett Till was murdered.
Publishers Weekly called the book, “[a] powerful work … Eye-opening and moving, these images commemorate the past and have the power to energize leaders of the future.”
Abranowicz is an important contemporary photographer whose work has been acquired by the National Portrait Galleries of the United States and United Kingdom, the Getty, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other collections. A long-standing contributing photographer to Condé Nast Traveler, he is the author of five books, most recently American Originals: Creative Interiors.
The Focus on American History series at the University of Texas Press features books based on the Briscoe Center’s extensive archival, artifact, and library collections. Also published in the series is the recent book Struggle for Justice: Four Decades of Civil Rights Photography,[ which contains selections from the center’s vast photojournalism and social justice collections (including images from the photographic archives of James “Spider” Martin, Flip Schulke, and Charles Moore, as well as many others). Struggle for Justice honors the photographers who were willing to put their privilege on the line to document the discrimination of others and, by doing so, helped to galvanize public support for the civil rights movement.