In The Company of Black, 1st edition
In the Company of Black is a book of photographs by multi-disciplinary artist Cecil McDonald Jr. For the past seven years, McDonald has developed a body of work focused on what he describes as “extraordinarily ordinary” people: educators, artists, administrators, business owners, teachers, and students, “I’m bringing together images of Black people who represent everyday folks.” Complemented with an essay by Tempestt Hazel and poems by avery r. young, McDonald’s In the Company of Black addresses and responds to the vast inaccuracies of Black humanity depicted within American society.
“When it comes to Black people, America is fascinated with extreme poles: either showing victims of violence, pain, and poverty (Black misery) or famous athletes and entertainers, and icons of popular culture (Black exceptionalism). This false dichotomy denies Black people the individuality and full spectrum of humanity that is so readily offered to the white population in this country. The photographs that I’ve been making ask the question: where are the people who make up the space in between? Here they are, they are important, they must be seen!” — Cecil McDonald, Jr. on In the Company of Black.