Monday, March 28, 2011

Back in the Days by Jamel Shabazz

Get ready to enter a time warp as you open this book and step into New York City in the 1980s. Photographer Shabazz, who grew up in Brooklyn, knows how to capture the life of the streets: kids hanging out, couples and friends posing, and graffiti on the walls dare the viewer to challenge their authenticity. These pictures are so real, they could have been taken today -- but the older subway cars and the fashion give it away. These were the days of Sergio Valente jeans, Cazal glasses, and Puma and Adidas sneakers. In portrait after portrait, the subjects know they look good, and they work it for the camera, crossing their arms and sticking out their hips. My personal favorites are the ones showcasing matching outfits shared by friends, lovers and entire crews. DYFJ staff members almost always get a kick out of this book as they re-live the clothes of the eighties and talk to the students about how New York City used to look. This book is highly engaging and a real stress-free read.

Shabazz, Jamel. Back in the Days. New York: powerHouse Books, 2001.

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