Barkley Hendricks

Birth of the Cool

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Birth of the Cool may be the coolest book you will ever see. In this 2008 exhibition catalog of his first retrospective, Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) distills black identity into powerful three-quarter and full-length portraits that teem with style and attitude. His sitters are unapologetic in their self-presentation and the result is a phenomenal elevation of African Americans who would have otherwise gone unnoticed in the decades immediately following the civil rights movement.