The photographs in this series are all a part of a larger body of work I have been developing over the past 3 decades, in a number of urban cities across America. I was greatly inspired by the vision of photographer James VanDerZee, who is best known for documenting The Harlem Renaissance in New York City during the 1920’s – mid 1930’s. His well posed images captured the beauty and dignity of a people that were often deemed irrelevant. As a documentary photographer, I set out on a self assignment to create images that not only reflect the people, but also the urban landscape that many call home.
Jamel Shabazz was born in Brooklyn, New York. He is a documentary and fashion photographer who has been photographing for over forty years. During the course of his career, he has produced six monographs of his work and has collaborated on a number of others. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide and can be found in collections of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Fashion Institute of Technology, The Smithsonian, and the Whitney Museum. Globally, Shabazz has worked as a teaching artist over the years, sharing his insight and experience with young people.