Unforgettable photographs of daily African life accompanied by hard-won, time-tested words
I Am Because We Are features 125 black and white photographs by Betty Press taken all over East and West Africa since 1987, combined with related African proverbs compiled by Annetta Miller, an American born in Tanzania.
The book highlights the importance of proverbs in educating members of African societies on how to think, how to behave, and how to have a better life. Press took these photographs with the goal of making a significant educational and artistic contribution to the appreciation and understanding of African culture and society as well as our own. The photographs of daily life deal with knowledge, cooperation, love, beauty, friendship, hope, humor, sorrow, happiness, gratitude, dance, tradition, faith, peace, war, death, and human relationships. These are the same themes found in African proverbial language. Thus came the natural idea of coupling images with proverbs. Together they offer a powerful expression of African life and the universality of human emotions, ideas, and knowledge.
Betty Press, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is an adjunct professor of photography at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has been taking photographs in Africa since 1987 and lived in Kenya for eight years. Her photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers as well as in the book, The New Africa: Dispatches from a Changing Continent. Annetta Miller has worked and lived in East Africa for most of her life and has been collecting proverbs for more than thirty years. She has published several daily calendars featuring proverbs and a book titled Sharing Boundaries: Learning the Wisdom of Africa.
184 pages, 10 x 8 inches, 125 b&w photographs, foreword, introduction, afterword, index