If you believe in art as a tool of justice, and you like Johnny Cash, then you should read Michael Stewart Foley’s latest book “Citizen Cash: The Political Life and Times of Johnny Cash”. The book highlights many different and important things about Cash, but the crucial ones for me are his empathy and evolution. Cash is a great counter-argument to the adage “people don’t change”. He spoke to people in their language as a friend, an advocate for human dignity, asking people to join him in seeing ourselves in others. We need more people taking that approach now.
I’d also strongly recommend “A Heartbeat And A Guitar: Johnny Cash & the Making of Bitter Tears” by my friend, author, and filmmaker Antonino D’Ambrosio. It’s available in paperback and, more recently, a new podcast based on the book and film that you can listen to through this link. It’s the story of Cash’s lost Native American-themed concept album “Bitter Tears” from 1964 and his unique collaboration with folk artist Peter Lafarge. The Native American issues addressed in this book from 2009 are still important to me and something I believe people should look into on their own. I’m honored to have worked with Antonino on designs for multiple projects, including this one featuring art I made. If you haven’t checked out the book yet, I highly recommend reading it. Thanks for caring!