Skin Again by bell hooks, illustrated by Chris Raschka.
“The skin I’m in is just a covering.
It cannot tell my story.”
The book’s basic premise is that skin tells something about someone, something about you. But that’s not all there is. There’s all the stuff inside them and you and all of us.
“You can find all about me—
coming close and letting go
of who you might think I am.”
I love the eyes, scribbles, onions, snakes, squares, and bars of color. Hands reaching out and grasping one another. Skin and not skin. Outside and in.
I think the Humans of New York blog might be the perfect extension of this book. Do you already know it?
If not, it’s photos of people on the streets of New York. But more than that, the photographer Brandon Stanton includes one quote from each individual as well. And that quote, it sometimes surprises. Even if it doesn’t, it gives a window into his/her life. And what’s inside.
Here are some recents, taken from Humans of New York facebook page.
“I told her: ‘You know that feeling you get about Dad? Well I feel that way too. About a girl.'”
“I’ve been training in martial arts for 24 years. And I’ve never once been in a fight outside the academy.”
“I’m trying to determine how sensors can be used to collect information about soils and plants so that farmers in India can better manage their crops.”
“I tend to be cynical about a lot of things, but Maya Angelou is somebody that no matter how much I pick her apart, she still has integrity. She was a victim of incest and rape, and she worked as a stripper. And now she’s a literary icon and Nobel Laureate. It goes to show that life is cumulative, and you can’t devalue any type of experience.”
And as of last year, the blog is a book.