Here is the original text and the photos in the book such as it first appeared in 1984. Unlike the slideshow, which I update every 2 or 3 years, it is too expensive to update the book. If you read it here, be aware that it is a statement about a period of time when every white in America was only 4 times as rich as every black. Since then racism has worsened with whites now having 7 times as much in per capita assets as blacks according to PBS. Unfortunately my book has not done much to help change this worsening racism in America ....except by providing some income for the many unemployed street people in the ghettoes who helped me sell it........such as Alphonso on page 200 in the book.

You can click on all photos in the text to see enlargements and - when I get time - to read about the circumstances under which I ended up with each family and how each of them are doing today.

Thanks to people who helped me as a vagabond and later making this book.

A personal foreword
My personal background for coming to America illustrated with pictures of myself in various situations.

Personal letter: James 5: 1-6
How I first stayed with a murderer in New Orleans, then ended up in heaven with a millionaire and finally found my place in poverty.

Historical background

The cotton fields

The tobacco fields

The sugar fields

Slave camps

Child labor and Coca Cola

Migrant workers


Native Americans

Personal letter: Defeat at Wounded Knee?

Ethnic pride

No more genocide


Restimulating slavery patterns

Poor slave


Psychic leaps

On hitch-hiking and psychic leaps

104-year old woman

Washington North Carolina

Personal letter: Credo

Banker and sharecroppers

Sharecropping or debt slavery?


Malnutrition and dirt eating

Human cost of the wolf philosophy

Health care for profit


more to come....


Feel free to contact me with comments on what you think needs to be updated in the book in case I ever find the $45.000 to reprint it for.


Jacob Holdt


Introduction and sale of book          Home         Jacob Holdt's photo gallery