Jamel Shabazz: Street Photographer
As a teenage photographer in early 80s East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Jamel Shabazz set out to document the then nascent movement of hip-hop. Through the iconic style of his MCs, neighborhood kids and gang members, the unequivocal attitude of New York’s youth was recognized as the calling card of the city’s creative renaissance. Published in 2001, Shabazz’ first book Back In The Days was celebrated as an exhilarating snapshot of the times, and his visual flair has been brought to life in a new documentary by the legendary hip-hop historian and director, Charlie Ahearn. “On the cover of Jamel’s book were two young men on 42nd Street. They were captured posing in such strong form as a kind of respectful bulwark against all the chaos that you see around them on ‘The Deuce,’” explains Ahearn, the notable filmmaker also responsible for the classic old-school movie, Wild Style. “I immediately knew that here was an original artist for our time.” 
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And they don’t even think about it. Don’t talk too loud, don’t make too many requests, don’t complain too forcefully about shitty service, put up with weird ass slightly racial compliments. And sometimes we joke about it like “lol! Better not do (normal human thing) cuz then people might think we’re uncivilized niggers” but it’s a painful constricting way to live. And not a type of way of living that non-Black people will understand