A Time Before Crack

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Photographs by: Jamel Shabazz
Essay by: Charlie Ahearn, Terrence Jennings
Introduction by: Claude Grunitzky
Afterword by: James Rodriquez

Portraiture / New York City / Urban
Hardcover
7.5 x 10 inches
144 pages
110 four-color and duotone photographs
ISBN: 978-1-57687-213-0

A Time Before Crack

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Photographs by: Jamel Shabazz Essay by: Charlie Ahearn, Terrence Jennings Introduction by: Claude Grunitzky Afterword by: James Rodriquez Portraiture / New York City / Urban Hardcover 7.5 x 10 inches 144 pages 110 four-color and duotone photographs ISBN: 978-1-57687-213-0

“Deeply unpretentious and undistracted by the trendy new aesthetics or technologies, Mr. Shabazz is the best kind of photojournalist: one driven simply by curiosity about other human beings.”
—Ken Johnson, The New York Times

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-seventies to the mid-eighties, Shabazz’s distinctive photographs reveal the families, the poses, and the players who made this age extraordinary.

Jamel Shabazz is the author of Back in the Days (powerHouse Books, 2001) and The Last Sunday in June (powerHouse Books, 2003). His photographs have appeared in publications including The Source, Vibe, TRACE, Flaunt, Mass Appeal, Jalouse, Black Book, OneWorld, and Honey. Shabazz’s work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York; by Kangol at the Dazed & Confused Gallery, London; by adidas and Lodown at adidas Originals, Berlin; and in Trace’s True Signs, Paris. His debut book, Back in the Days, has received astounding critical acclaim and commercial success since its initial release in January 2001. Shabazz was born in Brooklyn and lives in Long Island, New York.

Claude Grunitzky is chairman and Editor-in-Chief of TRACE magazine and chairman of TRUE Agency, a specialized advertising and marketing shop partnered with Omnicom’s TBWAChiatDay.

James "Koe" Rodriguez is an artist, writer, and faithful hip-hopper. His latest project is a documentary film on legendary New York photographers Ernie Paniccioli, Jamel Shabazz, and Joe Conzo titled 1 LOVE.

Charlie Ahearn is the director of the classic, 1982 Hip Hop movie Wild Style. He is the coauthor of Yes Yes Y’all (Da Capo, 2002) and currently hosts an eponymously named Internet radio show on wps1.org.

Terrence Jennings’ photographs have been published in TRACE, The Source, The New York Times, The Observer of London, and Black: A Celebration of a Culture (Hylas, 2004).

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