Jerry Taliaferro, the author, says in the preface of his new book, “Women of a New Tribe: A Photographic Celebration of the Black Woman,” “These beautiful women have always been around us. They are our wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. We can see the beauty in them if [we] just try. Perhaps in seeing their beauty, we will come to see what makes a woman truly beautiful� Just maybe we will come to understand that real beauty is more than that which can be seen. Real beauty is that which lifts us, real beauty touches our hearts.”
Taliaferro is a West Point graduate who turned to photography full time after leaving the military in 1988 following a decorated career in the service as a special forces officer. Over the intervening years, he has met with considerable success at his true calling, though devoting most of his attention to commercial assignments.
Recently, however, after preparing a single portrait of an African American female originally intended to simply serve as a sample in his portfolio, Jerry was struck by the fact that, “Very little attention had been paid to the beauty of the black woman. The black woman was almost invisible.” So, he came up with the novel idea of portraying sisters in a glamorous style from the 1940s reminiscent of the classic, blackand- white fashion shoots of such classic Hollywood actresses as Greta Garbo and Katherine Hepburn.”
PHOTO: “Deaconess” Copyright © 2007 Jerry Taliaferro