Wednesday, March 4, 2009

JAMEL SHABAZZ ( As told to Tyrus Rochell Townsend)

An “urban legend”, Jamel Shabazz name is synonymous with photography and also with the New York Times Bestsellers list; he has been on that list 3 times. A 30 year veteran who cites Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, Robert Capa, Chester Higgins and Eli Reed as inspiration, Shabazz has worked with The Studio Museum of Harlem, The Rush Philanthropic Foundation, toured extensively throughout the US and across Europe and even made time to mentor youth in photography as well as career planning. More importantly, Shabazz is famous for capturing early black life during the 70s, 80s and 90s and reminding of times passed.

I was able to catch up with Shabazz as he had just completed the Scion Installation 5 Tour and right before he was about to jet to Paris for a show. The day is an ordinary Monday and the time is around 4pm. The locations are different; he in Brooklyn and I in Harlem. Separated by a bridge but connected by spirit.

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