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27 November 2011


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Great article John. I was just wondering if the accordion player in the third image was Graham Jackson, photographed in 1945 by Ed Clark.


Thanks for the compliment, Richard.

I don't think that the accordion player is Graham Jackson, who seems to have been more thickly built than the man in Bourke-White's photo. But I can't be sure. It's a great question. I'll try to check it out.

Richard, I'm beginning to think you may be on to something.

Here's an unpublished photo of the accordion player from the same shoot as the photo above:


Seen from this angle, he does resemble Graham Jackson. And, after all, how many African-American professional accordionists could there have been in Warm Springs.

If it's the same man, it's the sort of ironic coincidence that historians love. The differences in the way he's depicted in photos from 1938 and 1945 are stunning. Wearing the mask of a fool in one; embodying dignified grief (with which Life's white readers would identify) in the other.

As I say, I'll try to nail this down.

That poem could serve as caption for so many, many photographs (even to this day)...

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