Jamel Shabazz: Men of Honor and Women of Distinction
Central Library, 2nd floor Balcony Cases
A series of photographs paying homage to men and women who uphold the principles of family, community, and civil service.
The very idea to document groups and distinguished individuals came from viewing photographs from a renowned member of one of the most notorious street gangs of their time—the Jolly Stompers in Brooklyn, New York. Observing the many classic color images of these young men of various hues marveled me. Most of them came from strong Caribbean roots, dapperly dressed in the finest clothing, and were standing erect and dignified. From that moment on I knew that I wanted to create a similar body of work.
I went on to document various groups such as the law enforcement community, military personnel, elders, social and political activities and everyday people. I am forever thankful for these encounters.
Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of fifteen, Shabazz picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. He includes photographers Leonard Freed, James Van Der Zee, and Gordon Parks as sources of inspiration, and has since built a massive and diverse body of work. Shabazz has produced five monographs of his work, and has had solo exhibitions around the world, including Ethiopia, Canada, Japan, and various cities in the U.S. He has also worked as a teaching artist with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the Bronx Museum-based Teen Council and the International Center of Photography, among others.
Photo credit © Koe Rodriguez
Please view Jamel Shabazz's online exhibition, Prospect Park - An Oasis in Brooklyn, on the Brooklyn Collection's website. Also, please visit Jamel Shabazz's exhibition, Reflections, in the Brooklyn Collection, on the 2nd floor at Central Library.