Humanitarian, author, teacher, and photographer Jamel Shabazz was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of fifteen, he picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. Inspired by photographers Leonard Freed, James Van Der Zee, and Gordon Parks, and their ability to document Black culture, the sought to build on the legacy of their work. During the early 1980s, Shabazz embarked on a mission to document the breadth of life in New York City. From social conditions that plagued many poor and working class communities of color to youth culture he documented the African American community as they are and with dignity. The parks, streets, and subway system of New York City would serve as spontaneous backdrops for some of his most iconic photographs from which a hallmark style emerged. In 2018, he was the received the Gordon Parks Foundation Award—a prestigious award for individuals whose art and humanitarian work has enriched the lives of people in the United States and abroad
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