In a controversial show, this photographer revealed middle-class Harlem to the wider world
Rian D.

Rian, I always check out your posts and this one is as remarkable as ever. I am a white guy from Canada, who as a young man intersted in Photography, had the good luck to discover a book on Mr. VanDerZee in the mid 70’s. I made the freindship of a penpal in NYC and in 1977 went to Spanish Harlem for a 10 day visit. Being a fan of R&B music, I made made my way to the Apollo Theatre to rub my hand on the building. It never crossed my mind at the time to mention to my African American host to mention my interst in James VanDerZee’s photography early on during my stay. The subject came up on my last day there, and I was floored when my host mentioned that as a Home Visit Nurse in Harlem, James was one of his clients and that not only could I have come along, I would have been welcomed! Damn! What an opportunity missed. Thank you for stitring up that memory. I document street art, wall murals and graffitti and travel to L.A. and other large U.S. cities on a reglar basis and you can bet that I m not SO hesitant to reach out to others and communicare my interst these days. I have found that differences in colour, gender, etc, etc that seem to divide people, bring people together when we meet face to face and have those conversations that knock down those barriers. Thank you for what you do on this site! Much love!

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