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Jamel Shabazz - A Time Before Crack


184 pages
Text(s) by Kenneth J. Montgomery, Esq., Liza Jessie Peterson, Chris Slaughter, Tiffiny Bates-Johnson, Yvette, Joe Conzo, Professor Cali Usher
Photograph(s) by Jamel Shabazz
25.4 x 19 cm
Language: English
Publisher: Powerhouse Books

Once upon a time before crack, inner-city communities were blighted by poverty and unemployment—but not by the drug wars that tore families apart, destroying lives with needless violence and mindless addiction. Once upon a time before crack, pride and style were as inseparable as a beatbox and mixtape, or as a pair of shoes and matching purse. Once upon a time before crack, Jamel Shabazz was on the scene, working the streets of New York City, capturing the faces and places of an era that have long since disappeared.

Best known as hip-hop’s finest fashion photographer for his blockbuster best-selling monograph, Back in the Days (powerHouse Books, 2001), Shabazz revisited his archive and unearthed an extraordinary collection of never-before-published documentary photographs collected for his third powerHouse Books release A Time Before Crack. A visual diary of the streets of New York City from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, Shabazz’s distinctive photographs reveal the families, the poses, and the players who made this age extraordinary.

Originally published in 2005, this remarkable collection of documentary photographs, unearthed from Jamel Shabazz’s private archive, instantly became the next highly coveted installment in Shabazz’s oeuvre. Back in print for the first time, this edition of the groundbreaking publication includes a new cover, additional images, and updated text written by new contributors recounting their tales from the times (Calvin Klein, a former crack dealer; Cali Ente Usher, a professor at Morehouse College; Khary Mason, a former homicide detective; Liza Jessie Peterson, a poet and former teacher on Rikers Island; Chris Slaughter, a current high school teacher in Brooklyn, and a poet; Tiffiny Bates-Johnson, a former school safely officer; Masta Killa, a poet and member of the Wu Tang Clan; Vivian Green, a former crack abuser; Kenneth Montgomery, a current public defender and former prosecutor; Cindy Pitts, a former resident of Red Hook Houses; Koe Rodriguez, a freelance writer).