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Jamel Shabazz


The influential New York photographer Jamel Shabazz has created portraits of the city’s communities for over 40 years. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Shabazz began photographing people he encountered on New York streets in the late 1970s, creating an archive of cultural shifts and struggles across the city. 

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Jamel Shabazz

Jamel Shabazz is best known for his iconic photographs of New York City during the 1980s. A documentary, fashion, and street photographer, he has authored 12 monographs and contributed to over three dozen other photography related books. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide and his work is housed within the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Fashion Institute of Technology, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Getty Museum.

Over the years, Shabazz has instructed young students at the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “Expanding the Walls” project, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture “Teen Curator’s” program, and the Bronx Museum’s “Teen Council.” He is also the 2018 recipient of the Gordon Parks award for excellence in the arts and humanitarianism and the 2022 awardee of the Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl book prize. Jamel is also a member of the photo collective Kamoinge, and a board member of En Foco, another photo collective. His goal as an artist is to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture.

"Through my photographs, I’m able to relive moments that are now gone forever."

The Work

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"It was very important for me to have those handshakes, those hugs, to show that love and that unity. I wanted to capture love and smiles and joy."


"I photograph because I want to know more about why we’ve been on this path of life."

Press & Media

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New books: Angela Davis graphic novel; Jamel Shabazz photography; ‘Black Novella’; ‘The Deep’

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In ‘As We Rise,’ Black Photography Captures All the Moves

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Photographer Jamel Shabazz: Eyes On The People

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"I photograph because I want to know more about why we’ve been on this path of life."

Contact Jamel



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