Author Tracy Sugarman on His First Novel
Westport illustrator Tracy Sugarman, a participant in the turbulent civil rights movement in Mississippi, discusses his first novel Nobody Said Amen. It tells the stories of two families’ lives, one white and one black, as they try to navigate the challenging, tilting landscape created by the coming of “outside agitators” and social change to the Mississippi Delta in the 1960s.
Sugarman is a reportorial artist who was one of a young cadre of post-war illustrators who chose to move to Westport to join a revered art community. He began his career as an illustrator whose work appeared in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, and Colliers Magazine, as well as books. In the early 1960s, he started creating on-site reportage for Fortune magazine, as well as corporations. His passion for being part of the scene led him to become the archivist for the civil rights movement's struggle in Mississippi, for Vista's work with poor whites in Appalachia, and for the AFL/CIO's efforts to create housing for Hispanic Americans in Texas. His painting, "The Heroes of Nine-Eleven," is on permanent display in Washington, DC and his painting of the roll out of the Space Shuttle Columbia is part of NASA's pictorial history at Cape Kennedy. Sugarman is the author of several books. His WWII art and letters have been acquired by the Library of Congress. His drawings of the civil rights movement are now permanent archives in Mississippi and in the Schomburg Collection in NYC.