African-American Life, Double-Exposed –

African-American Life, Double-Exposed

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The late 1930s image by Eliot Elisofon shows Zack Brown taking a picture of two dapper African-American men on a Harlem street. It challenged the then-dominant view of black urban life, focusing on dignity instead of suffering, self-possession instead of defeat, happiness instead of sorrow. Mr. Elisofon’s picture also reminds us of the powerful role of photography in African-American life, how the medium — and black photographers — helped reshape the image of a people.

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